#2 Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba has been at Manchester United for 5 seasons now, and we are yet to see him truly dominate proceedings regularly. Technically, the Frenchman has the talent to become the best in the Premier League, and his mere presence should fulfill his team’s creative requirements. However, the Pogba who lit up Turin and the Pogba at Old Trafford continue to be two different persons.
The Frenchman had an indifferent first half of the 2019/20 season, but looked rejuvenated since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes. He seemed to live off the Portuguese’s energy and intelligence and the United midfield looked a league above the rest after project restart. Even though he had to play a restrained role, the Frenchman looked comfortable in the double pivot with Nemanja Matic and helped his team finish third.
However, after the first 2 games of the new season, Pogba continues to be stifled with the same problems that have held him back at Old Trafford. He lacks a little bit of tenacity and bite in the midfield and continues to drift in and out of games. The Frenchman’s tendency to go missing in the middle of the game is hurting Manchester United once again, especially against teams who defend deep. Bruno Fernandes is overburdened and the Red Devils look short of ideas, so Pogba needs to get his act together immediately.
Unless he improves, the Frenchman might find himself on the bench with new signing Donny van de Beek a more than able replacement in his position.
#1 Victor Lindelof
Victor Lindelof’s time in the Manchester United starting eleven might be coming to an end. The Swede, who was brought to Old Trafford in summer 2017 by Jose Mourinho, has failed to live up to expectations. The “Iceman” did manage a good run of games last season, but his continued association with the first eleven was more due to the lack of better alternatives than his own form. Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe, two players expected to leapfrog the Swede in the race to become Harry Maguire’s long term partner, both failed to shake off their injury issues, and Lindelof turned out to be the winner.
The Swede continues to be nervy at the back in the new season and had an all time low in the defeat to Palace in the first game of the season, where he was at fault for all of the 3 goals conceded. Lindelof did look marginally better against Brighton, but failed to redeem himself in the end. In contrast, Bailly was phenomenal against Luton Town, complementing Maguire brilliantly to secure a clean sheet. Against the Seagulls, the Ivorian came off the bench in the dying moments of the game and showed more intent, courage and desire than the Swede had managed in the entire 90 minutes.
It looks like only a matter of time before Lindelof is pushed back to the bench by Bailly. But things could go worse for the Swede as Tuanzebe’s imminent return from injury could put him under further misery. And that is why Lindelof must sweat it out on training and get his form back immediately.