Paul Parker has claimed that Manchester United’s world-record signing Paul Pogba is not even as good as Jon Obi Mikel, and could struggle if used as a holding midfielder for the club.
Parker enjoyed a five-year spell at Old Trafford between 1991-1996, where he won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and a League Cup.
Big things are expected of Pogba, who missed United’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth due to a suspension carried on from Italy, and Parker has raised doubts over how good the midfielder actually is.
Pogba left United on a free transfer in 2012, and United have paid Juventus a world-record fee in order to bring him back to Old Trafford.
“Can he be as good as Roy Keane or Bryan Robson? I wonder about him playing that midfield role,” Parker said, speaking to 888Sport.
“I worry about him making tackles and getting across to close players down because he is rangy. He doesn’t have quick feet and his game is about going to ground.
“That’s going to be a problem. In a holding position it would be a waste because he’s not a (Claude) Makelele or even a John Obi Mikel, because one thing Mikel can do is close people down.
“Pogba can get forward, and score goals, and pass the ball but in a high-tempo game he won’t be very good in a deep role. We saw that in the Euros where he looked lost for long periods of games when France didn’t have the ball.
“So when United don’t have the ball what’s he going to be like? (Marouane) Fellaini can’t do that either. Or (Wayne) Rooney. They can’t get around. Behind Ibrahimovic and Martial there will be changes because there is no way that midfield can last.”
Pogba will be available for United’s next Premier League game against Southampton in the first ever Friday Premier League fixture, and will hope to make an instant impact.