Paul Pogba has to become a master craftsman at one aspect of his game if he is ever to fulfil his true potential with Manchester United.
That is the claim of former United star Owen Hargreaves who was a senior player at Old Trafford when Pogba was a raw but striking 17-year-old in the Frenchman’s first spell with the club.
A decade on, Pogba can help deliver a first trophy for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Wednesday when United bid to overcome Villarreal in the Europa League Final, but Hargreaves insists the World Cup winner still has a way to go if he wants to be compared to the best.
Hargreaves said: “Paul Pogba is one of the most scrutinised players in the world.
“I got to know him when he was a young guy coming through at United and you were always blown away by how much talent he actually has.
“But If you look at Bruno Fernandes, then he guarantees you numbers in terms of goals across matches. N’Golo Kante is probably the best player in the world out of possession.
“Kevin De Bruyne is probably the best passer in the world.
“Harry Kane is among the best goalscorers.
“Paul can pretty much do a bit of everything. But he’s still not a master of one thing, yet.
“He has more strings to his bow than 99 per cent of players in the world.
“But maybe that versatility has stopped him being the midfielder who always gets 20 goals or delivers 20 assists.
“If you look at Paul’s numbers then they probably don’t blow you away. But I actually think his genuine potential is still just enormous.
“These are the kinds of games where you have to show it. He has done that in a World Cup Final and these are the games where you strengthen your name as a footballer.”
Hargreaves reckons Solskjaer has done a good job in building a sense of unity at the club, strong enough to carry both the burden of expectation, as well as Pogba’s ego.
He said: “Ole has done a great job of getting everyone on the same page. He has surrounded himself with coaches who feel like him and believe in the players like he does.
“He is moulding the team into his team.”
One of the big influencers has been 34-year-old striker Edinson Cavani – and not just because of his goals.
Hargreaves added: “I think people always look at United signings who are in their 30s and think this guy is not going to work.
“But that is rather ignorant when it comes to Cavani. Over the length of his career, in terms of goals, performances, appearances and attitude, then he’s off the chart.
“I don’t care how old he is, the way that guy plays football is an example to other people.
“He works hard, he’s fit, he improves his teammates and he gets the goals that matter.
“It’s not just his goals, it’s the impact he has had on the mentality of the team which has been so as significant.”