World-record signing Paul Pogba is not a ‘game changer’ and is a defensive liability for Manchester United, according to Frank Lampard and Jamie Carragher.
Pogba missed a good chance during Manchester United’s 1-1 draw at home to Bournemouth last time out and struggled to take control of the midfield battle.
And Lampard criticised his impact since signing from Juventus in the summer, arguing that he hasn’t delivered despite his huge price tag.
Frank Lampard was speaking ahead of West Ham vs Chelsea on Monday Night Football
Jamie Carragher described Manchester United’s Paul Pogba as a ‘liability defensively’
POGBA 16-17 STATS
Minutes played: 3282
Shooting accuracy: 41 per cent
Passing accuracy: 84.8 per cent
Tackles won: 46
Fouls conceded: 73
Yellow cards: 9
‘He’s not a game changer. It was a signal of their intentions to spend £90m on someone I would say isn’t a finished article,’ Lampard said as a pundit on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football ahead of the match between his two former sides West Ham vs Chelsea.
‘When you have a £90million price tag you wonder more… and you’re left still thinking what player he is… he hasn’t quite delivered and he hasn’t been a game changer.
‘He has potential but the problem he is… who do you spend £90m on… a [Luis] Suarez, [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Lionel] Messi. We need to wait until next season to see if he’s improving. But I do believe that is in him. If you spend £90m, you don’t want a £90m problem. I’m sure Jose Mourinho will solve it but at the moment he’s not fluent.’
Sportsmail’s Carragher, who was also speaking as a pundit, echoed Lampard’s comments and questioned the Frenchman for his lack of defensive work, saying: ‘He’s still nowhere near good enough and hasn’t got the discipline.’
Pogba, pictured in action against the Cherries, has endured an underwhelming season so far
However he also praised Pogba for his passing abilities and the understanding he has built with United’s talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic – despite being defensively suspect.
Carragher added: ‘He’s a liability defensively. What he does give you is a fantastic passing range. There’s no doubt he has a great relationship with Ibra.’
Jose Mourinho initially struggled to find the right formula in central midfield during his first season at Old Trafford.
The United boss appeared to have settled on playing Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera alongside Pogba as a trio but Lampard thinks Pogba isn’t committed enough defensively to play that position.
‘My question is how much do you want him in these deep roles? For me Michael Carrick is in the team to play deep… if he’s not close enough he’s not going to get the numbers. you’ve got this player you want to get into your team but what’s the best place for him?
‘I see him as eager. Maybe he’s over eager.’
Jose Mourinho signed Pogba from Juventus last summer but the midfielder has struggled