Manchester United star Paul Pogba is under appreciated in certain quarters, according to club ambassador Bryan Robson.
Pogba’s world-record transfer fee placed him under intense scrutiny but his reaction was impressive, helping the Reds to win the Europa League, the EFL Cup and the Community Shield in his first season back at Old Trafford. United’s Player of the Month for May, he finished the campaign very strongly, despite suffering a huge personal loss when his father passed away.
“The media are always trying to criticise Paul,” Robson told ManUtd.com, when promoting September’s Legends match against Barcelona at Old Trafford.
“To a certain degree, that’s because of the transfer fee and not because of the player. But when I look at Pogba, he has come into the club and improved us in that area. He has got certain things our other midfield players haven’t got.”
Robson is backing the France international to have an even bigger influence in 2017/18 and further defy any detractors.
“Paul is not really appreciated by certain sections of the media but when he’s not in the team, I think he’s missed,” added the ex-United and England captain. “With the confidence of winning three trophies, I think he will go on and have an even better campaign next season.”
Elsewhere in midfield, his former department, Robson is pleased that Michael Carrick has extended his contract for another year but he also feels the challenge is there for some younger options to emerge from within the squad.
“I’m absolutely delighted as Michael has got great experience,” the ambassador added. “He is good for the dressing room and knows what the club is all about. He is a really sensible lad who trains really hard and some of that can rub off on the kids coming through at this moment in time. I’m delighted to see he’s been given another year.
“I haven’t see too much of Andreas Pereira since he went abroad [to Granada] but he had great ability and hopefully a year’s loan will have just brought him on and made him a better player. It will be interesting to see how he does when he returns and I think we’ve got quite a few good young players who, next season, have got to step up a little bit more and prove they can be Premier League players week in and week out.
“They’ve always got to remember it’s not just a one-off game but they have got to come in and handle it – mentally and physically every week. When they’ve been around the first-team squad for a couple of years and keep doing it, then that’s the time to say they’ve really arrived at Manchester United. There is still a lot of hard work to be done for those kids.”
Tickets for the Legends match at Old Trafford on 2 September, featuring Robson as manager, are on sale at manutd.com/legendsareback. Prices start from £20 for adults and £5 for under-16s, with hospitality packages available from £125. All proceeds will go to Manchester United Foundation’s work across Greater Manchester. The game will be shown live on MUTV.