Paul Pogba is out of contract at the end of the season and rumours suggest Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard is monitoring his situation, with Newcastle also interested
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard is reportedly lining-up a shock, and rather ambitious, move for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba having previously pinpointed his biggest flaw. The Liverpool icon also confessed to having the same problem during his playing days.
Pogba, 29, is out of contract at the end of the season and is expected to leave Old Trafford after a disappointing six-year spell. United haven’t won silverware during the last five campaigns, with the Frenchman scoring 39 goals in 222 appearances.
For all his attacking talents, Pogba is often criticised for not fulfilling his defensive duties. Many believe he’s at his best when staring alongside holding midfielder N’Golo Kante at international level. Pogba’s defensive woes is something Gerrard has noticed.
“I think if there’s one small, tiny criticism of this player it would be that he goes forward maybe too much,” Gerrard told BT Sport in 2018. “If he’s playing in central midfield with one other player i.e. a [Nemanja] Matic, he might leave him a bit exposed.
“I had a similar criticism of myself when I played in that position with Didi Hamann or Xabi Alonso. I was eager to get into the box all the time and with experience and age and a bit more maturity, you maybe pick and choose your times where you make your runs.”
Gerrard’s comments on Pogba have re-emerged after The Sun claimed Villa are monitoring his situation. It’s believed Juventus, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and mega-rich Newcastle are also believed to be interested in signing the player.
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The rumour emerged just days after Pogba described United’s season as “dead”. The Red Devils are currently sixth in the Premier League, four points behind Arsenal in fourth having played one game more. Their last trophy was the Europa League in 2017.
“You have to be honest, the last five seasons have not satisfied me – really not at all,” Pogba told Le Figaro. “This year it is dead, we won’t win anything. Whether it is with Manchester United or at another club, I want to win trophies.”
Pogba went on to describe his role alongside Kante with France. The former Juventus star has achieved plenty of success at international level, winning the World Cup and Nations League. He also helped his Didier Deschamps’ side reach the final of Euro 2016.
“It’s simple with France, I play and I play in my position – I know my role and I feel the confidence of the coach and the players,” he added. “It’s normal to feel a difference at Manchester United because it’s hard to be consistent when you often have a change to your position, or the team system, or your partners.
“I get along very well with [Deschamps], he gave me a role that I know, but at Manchester United do I really have a role? I ask the question but I don’t have an answer.”
On the possibility of joining PSG, Pogba said: “Why not? It’s always nice to play with your team-mates in the national team and club.”