Paul Pogba Gives Explanation For Why He’s Not A 15-Goal-A-Season Midfielder

Paul Pogba believes he has more freedom to play when pulling on the France shirt compared to his outings for Manchester United.

The 28-year-old made his name as an attacking, goalscoring midfielder at Juventus – where he hit a total of 34 goals in all competitions across four seasons.

Pogba reached double figures in his final two campaigns and was integral to the Bianconeri’s domestic dominance. He did conjure up a 16-goal season in 2018/19 for United but has largely played a much deeper role.

Many feel as though Pogba plays his best football for France when he has N’Golo Kante anchoring him and the World Cup winner was refreshingly honest when asked about how his position changes – claiming he has more defensive responsibilities at club level.

Image: PA
Image: PA

“It’s true that at Juventus it was different from Manchester,” he told L’Equipe.

“We were playing three in the middle, 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, to defend.

“In the France team, we play a 4-2-3-1 too. I’m a little more involved in the transition, in the construction. But I have more freedom than in Manchester to get into the box, to make runs forward.

“At the same time, when you have Grizou [Antoine Griezmann], Kylian [Mbappe], you don’t want to enter their spaces, you don’t need to.”

Although injuries haven’t helped his cause, United’s club-record £89 million signing has only managed seven goals in his last two seasons.

Pogba wants to improve those numbers and play in a more advanced role – but is adamant the team will always come first – irrespective of whether it’s United or France.

Image: PA
Image: PA

“I would like to play more offensively. Scoring 15 goals per season, that’s what I would like,” Pogba added.

“But, we must put ourselves at the service of the collective. In Manchester, as with Les Bleus, the collective will always come before the player.

“Frankly, I still enjoy playing a little deeper. When Patrick (Vieira) said he preferred me at Juventus, I understand, I was able to express myself more further up, more with my technique. But it will always be the collective above everything else.”

Given extra creative freedom for France in the recent friendly win over Bulgaria, Pogba ran the show in a 3-0 win.

Didier Deschamps will be looking for a similar display from him in their huge opening Euro 2020 clash with Germany on Tuesday night.