Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has suggested that he is limited by his role at Old Trafford in comparison to the systems he has enjoyed with both France and Juventus.
The idea of ‘unlocking Pogba’ has been a hot topic ever since he returned to United from Juventus in 2016, with fans often questioning why the midfielder seems to perform better for his country than for his club.
Pogba discussed his performances in an interview with L’Equipe alongside Patrick Vieira, in which the former Arsenal man confessed to preferring the Juventus version of Pogba because of the attacking freedom he enjoyed in Turin.
“It’s true that at Juve it was different from Manchester,” Pogba responded. “We played with three midfielders in a 5-3-2. I had the freedom, I had to be in the box, to attack. It was an obligation. In Manchester, I have the freedom to go into the box, but the priority is to play and defend.
“[With France] we play a 4-2-3-1, in a diamond too. I am a little more involved in the build-up, in the construction. But I have more freedom than in Manchester to enter the box, to make runs forward.
“At the same time, when you have [Antoine] Griezmann, Kylian [Mbappe], you don’t want to enter their spaces, you don’t need to.”
Despite admitting he would prefer more of an advanced role at club level, Pogba stressed that he is happy to play however United need him to.
“I would like to play more offensive,” he confessed. “To score 15 goals every season is what I would like.
“But we must put ourselves forward to serve the collective. In Manchester, as with France, the collective always comes before the player. Honestly, I do enjoy playing a little deeper.
“When Patrick said he preferred me at Juve, I understand that. I managed to express myself better, was more involved in the final third, but the collective will always be the most important thing.”