Paul Pogba has asked Manchester United fans to give him time to adapt to life back at Old Trafford after making a slow start to the season since he completed his £89m world record transfer in the summer.
United broke the transfer record to bring Pogba back to the Premier League, four years after he left the club to join Juventus on a free transfer. The 23-year-old has only scored one goal since making his second United debut in August though, and he has stressed that he needs time to adjust to his move back to England before fans will begin to see the best from him.
"I will need a little time to adapt in Manchester, time for the machine to start working. I am adapting,” Pogba said in an interview with French TV station TF1.
"People like to talk about Paul Pogba. The critics, they stay for a day, then after that I put my music back on, I dance."
United face Liverpool on Monday night knowing that a victory can pull them level on points with their north-west rivals, and potentially lift Jose Mourinho’s side into the top four. With Manchester City failing to win their Premier League clash against Everton on Saturday in what was their second consecutive match without a victory, Liverpool can join City and Arsenal at the top of the league table should they win the encounter at Anfield tomorrow.
One of those critics has been Paul Merson, with the Sky Sports pundit comparing the France international with England and Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson. Having captained his country for the first time in England’s 0-0 draw with Slovenia during the week, Henderson also bagged the Premier League Player of the Month award for September, having helped Liverpool to an unbeaten run of three matches and scoring a wonderful long-range effort against Chelsea which also bagged him Goal of the Month.
Manchester United vs Stoke player ratings
Manchester United vs Stoke player ratings
1/22 David de Gea
Didn't have much to do but fluffed his lines when called upon and let Stoke equalise. 5
2/22 Antonio Valencia
Not overly busy and managed to keep his shirt rigorously tucked in all game. 6
3/22 Eric Bailly
A solid game, continues to impress. 6
4/22 Chris Smalling
Not much to do but reliable enough. 6
5/22 Daley Blind
Give us this day our Daley Blind. The versatile Dutchman was reliable as ever. 6
6/22 Ander Herrera
Should he have been sent off? Let Robbie Savage debate that. As it was he had a decent game. 6
7/22 Paul Pogba
What does £100m get you these days? A decent if largely uninspiring game against Stoke, that’s what. 6 Jesse Lingard: An encouraging performance before being subbed in the second half. 6
8/22 Jesse Lingard
An encouraging performance before being subbed in the second half. 6
9/22 Juan Mata
Subbed for Rooney in the second half, but solid enough before that. 6
10/22 Marcus Rashford
Oh he’s quite good isn't he? Always lively but couldn't get on the scoresheet. 6
11/22 Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Denied on multiple occasions, a frustrating afternoon, particularly for anyone who made him their Fantasy Football captain. 6
12/22 Lee Grant
He might have a name straight out of a 90s boyband but he had a stormer in goal. 8
13/22 Glen Johnson
Lively going forward, occasionally suspect in defence - I feel like we know this about Glen Johnson by now. 6
14/22 Ryan Shawcross
Largely kept United at bay, solid enough. 6
15/22 Bruno Martins Indi
Continues to look a good signing for Stoke. 6
16/22 Erik Pieters
Reliable if a little uninspiring. 6
17/22 Geoff Cameron
Unlucky that his great tackle provided the assist for United’s goal. 6
18/22 Glenn Whelan
Played to the best of his abilities but wasn't exactly superlative. 6
19/22 Xherdan Shaqiri
The Alpine Messi? Not on the basis of this. Could do better. 6
20/22 Joe Allen
Smashed it in from a yard out to equalise, got fouled a lot. Solid game. 7
21/22 Marko Arnautovic
Sulked quite a lot and got subbed in the second half. Not his best game. 6
22/22 Wilfried Bony
Where is the striker who terrified defences at Swansea? Not here today. 6
Asked who he would pick in his team out of the pair, Merson said: “Today, Jordan Henderson.
“Over the next 10 years, I don't know – it probably should be Pogba considering how much money they spent.
“Henderson has been as good as anybody in the Premier League. Credit where credit is due, he's been outstanding. Pogba has been struggling.”Reuse content