Manchester United: The Paul Pogba dilemma
Red Devils continue to face the problem of finding the perfect playing spot for Paul Pogba in their lineup.
Even after several weeks, the efficiency of Paul Pogba remains unresolved and the whole world is keeping an eye on the outcome of his situation with Jose Mourinho. Manchester United's protagonist has been expected to dominate the midfield week in, week out and is often specifically targeted when the Red Devils under-perform.
The Frenchman has nine assists this season, putting him on the third highest position in the league, despite missing out for more than two months through injury. He has also scored three goals.
The Manchester United ace was extolled by every football lover after he took the league by storm at the beginning of the season - pulling the strings according to his will with such ease.
The same magic could be witnessed once he came back from injury against Newcastle United in mid-November and the red card he received against Arsenal made almost every United fan cry that the red army will miss out on its priced asset against the high flying Manchester City.
Fast forward a couple of months and a blockbuster January signing in Alexis Sanchez, the table seems to have turned against Paul Pogba yet again. The bolstering of United's attacking power means that Mourinho will only prefer to fit Paul Pogba in one of the two central midfield positions while also subordinating defensive duties on him.
There is no doubt that Paul Pogba can fit in at any position in a United team. The talented midfielder seems to have got everything a world class player shall ever desire - passing, shooting, physical strength, pace, stamina, and the desire to win.
But his inhibition around that role is clearly evident and football pundits around the world believe that using him in a restrictive position cannot bring out the best in him.
Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney recently on Monday Night Football put his thoughts about the right position for Paul Pogba to flourish. Urging the United manager to play him similar to a position he played in Juventus, Rooney added:
"If he has that freedom where he does not have to think too much about his defensive role he can cause mayhem. At Juventus he had Pirlo alongside him. With Matic and another alongside him, on the left of a three in midfield, that will certainly get the best out of him."
On the contrary, former England player Frank Lampard, as a pundit for BT Sport, commented that Pogba should be up for any task given to him by his manager.
“Pogba has got so many great forward-thinking attributes - athleticism, ability on the ball, can find a pass. But if he is being asked to do a job next to Nemanja Matic, he has to do that with complete responsibility."
It is hard to believe that Jose Mourinho will bow down to the demands of a player or even pundits, the Portuguese manager being famous for sticking to his own strategies and believes.
But what shall be agreed by Paul Pogba, Jose Mourinho and everyone concerned with the club is that it is very unlikely that many of the high profile attacking players can be made to warm the bench too often simply to allow the United's No. 6 to perform.
Sooner or later, Paul Pogba will have to improve his performances drastically and not ebb away his quality while also adjusting to the original 4-2-3-1 formation the team prefers to play in for the purpose of accommodating the players.
Whether Paul Pogba will be able to live up to the challenge or not remains to be seen.