Friday 23 August 2019

'He doesn't live up to the hype' - Paul McGrath gives his verdict on Paul Pogba's Manchester United future

Paul Pogba’s time at Manchester United has seen plenty of ups and downs (Martin Rickett/PA)
Paul Pogba’s time at Manchester United has seen plenty of ups and downs (Martin Rickett/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United legend Paul McGrath believes the club may be forced to sell record signing Paul Pogba this summer, unless he changes his attitude and fully commits to the cause.

Speaking to Independent.ie as he promoted his charity golf day in August, Ireland legend McGrath admitted he has become exasperated with Pogba in his second spell at United after suggesting he has the talent to become one of the world's great players if he fully committed to the cause.

Instead, McGrath believes Pogba allowed his success in leading France to World Cup glory last summer to inflate his ego to damaging levels, as he admitted United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be forced to move on without his star midfielder.

Pogba went public as he stated his desire to leave United when he suggested he was 'ready for a new challenge' earlier this month and McGrath suspects he may now leave Old Trafford for a second time.

"Pogba is such a talented boy and I feel he is letting himself down by some of his antics on and off the field," stated McGrath, who will host a golf event to raise money for Acquired Brain Injury Ireland in Wexford on August 31st.

"He sometimes seems to be more interested in building up his image, driving round in fast cars and posting silly images on social media and then he doesn't live up to the hype often enough when it comes to playing the game.

"I would love to see Pogba come back for pre-season fully focused on United and desperate to prove he can be the best footballer in the world, which is clearly what he wants to be.

"Yet someone needs to sit down with him and ask him if he is ready to do that or whether he wants to be a player who never quite lives up to his reputation and at this moment, it looks like the latter of those two options are more likely, which is a real shame.

"I really felt he would be the star of that midfield for years to come when he was so impressive for France at the World Cup last summer.

"Instead, that success appears to have gone to his head and he now has to decide if he wants to be a celebrity or whether he wants to be recognised as a great footballer, which is what I believe he was put on this earth to be."

PMcG.jpg
Irish football legend Paul McGrath. Photo: Naoise Culhane

McGrath suspects Pogba's agent Mino Raiola is keen to secure a move for his star client in this transfer window, with Real Madrid and Juventus strongly linked with efforts to sign the 26-year-old midfielder.

"It looks like Pogba's agent has been in his ear over the last couple of months and he knows a move is there that could be worth a lot of money for everyone," states McGrath.

"These agents are now so powerful in football and clearly the guy running Pogba's career is clearly a guy who likes to get big transfers done and maybe he has been saying a few the things to edge him closer to leaving United.

"It would be a real shame if his second spell at the club ends in a similar way to his first spell because I still believe he could be a United great if he had the attitude you need to succeed at that club."

Paul McGrath spoke to Independent.ie ahead of his charity golf day at Rathaspeck Manor golf course in Wexford on August 31st.

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