Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has delivered a stinging review of midfielder Paul Pogba following the Red Devils' 0-0 draw with Southampton at Old Trafford. The Frenchman struggled to get in the game and Scholes believes he is not completely fit which has stunted his abilities.
The Red Devils were held to their third consecutive draw over Christmas following insipid performances against Leicester City and Burnley, thereby finishing 2017 in third place behind Manchester City and Chelsea. Should City win at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace on Sunday then the gap from United to their neighbours will be 17 points after 21 games played.
It was a day to forget for United as they struggled to break down the Saints and Jose Mourinho was left crying yet again over the failure of referee Craig Pawson to award a penalty for Maya Yoshida's handball. However, despite Mourinho's protestations the shortcomings of United were for all to see and if not for David de Gea, the Red Devils would have had to exit the game without anything to show for it.
A bad injury to Romelu Lukaku, who was carried off after 12 minutes following a collision with Wesley Hoedt, meant that Mourinho is now without his two main strikers, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic also out for a month with a knee problem. However, Scholes, speaking after the game, believes the problem starts with Pogba, who has been a shadow of his true self.
"They need to liven up this team because top four isn't guaranteed for me at this stage," he said. "There are some good teams in there. Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, they will all be challenging for top four," Scholes said, as quoted by the Irish Independent.
"They need to find some energy from somewhere and the manager needs to give them something. You look at players like (Paul) Pogba, (Nemanja) Matic...they are top players, but they are underperforming.
"These players are good enough to win games. It is a lack of urgency to me. There is not fight...where is the Paul Pogba we saw at Juventus? He is just strolling through games,"
"Pogba doesn't look fit. I wonder whether he is training properly. He does not look like a player who will win you games and that is what you pay £90m for. No-one in England should be getting near him, but he is being asked to do a role he is not comfortable in."