Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba should not be considered in the world-class bracket, according to Rene Meulensteen, Sir Alex Ferguson’s former right-hand man at Old Trafford.
Pogba is in his second spell with the Red Devils, having moved back to the club in 2016 after a successful spell with Juventus.
United agreed to pay a world-record fee at the time of €105 million for a player who left them for free four years earlier, but the France star has failed to capture the type of form expected of him, despite starring as he led Les Bleus to the World Cup in 2018.
“Everyone keeps talking about him: ‘He’s world class, he’s world class,’” Meulensteen told Stadium Astro.
“In my opinion, Paul doesn’t deserve that in any shape or form because I don’t think he’s lived up to expectations.”
Meulensteen went on to brand the 27-year-old as lazy.
“For me, he hasn’t worked hard enough,” he explained. “I can see it all the time. It’s too slow, it’s laboured and there is no urgency about it. And other teams can capitalise on it.”
"It’s too slow, it’s laboured and there is no urgency about it. And other teams can capitalise on it."Rene Meulensteen
Pogba’s latest misadventure with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side was to give away the critical penalty in Sunday’s 1-0 home loss to Arsenal.
Defeat means the United find themselves 15th in the early Premier League table, albeit with a game in hand over many of their rivals. Nevertheless, Solskjaer’s side have suffered three defeats from six games – a poor return for a club of such statute.
United have, however, performed more impressively in the Champions League. They pinched a 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the French capital on matchday one thanks to a sharp late finish from Marcus Rashford, while they obliterated RB Leipzig 5-0 at home last week.
On Wednesday, they travel to Istanbul to take on Basaksehir, with a victory set to push them to the brink of the last 16.