Steven Gerrard says Paul Pogba has the same problem he had in midfield
Steven Gerrard sees shades of a younger him in Paul Pogba.
Pogba has proven himself arguably the most crucial component of Jose Mourinho's project at Manchester United, with his return from injury vastly improving the performances of the players around him in recent weeks.
The Frenchman's ability going forward is undeniable as he has the creativity in his locker to beat two men or pick out a pass that other midfielders might not even see but, according to Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, there is one aspect of Pogba's game that needs to be improved.
Speaking on BT Sport, the Liverpool legend said:
"I think if there’s one small, tiny criticism of this player it would be that he goes forward maybe too much.
"If he’s playing in central midfield with one other player i.e. a 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 forward."
Gerrard, who moved into a deeper role in his later years at Anfield, reckons the power possessed by the 24-year-old could massively aid United defensively.
Pogba does have a tendency to burst forward with reckless abandon at times but, given how well he reads the game, Gerrard has advised him to combine his attacking threat with some help for his back four to ensure that the Red Devils are as well balanced as possible.
"He obviously came in with a huge price tag and that comes with big, big pressure, especially at a club like Manchester United," Gerrard said.
"He’s growing all the time. I think he certainly makes Manchester United a lot stronger, more of a threat in the final third. He’s a quality passer but his biggest strength is his athleticism, his legs.
"He can join the defensive side of Manchester United’s game but he can also help the forward players because of his legs and passing ability so he makes them an awful lot of a bigger threat."