Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Paul Pogba explains why he rates former Liverpool man as toughest opponent; Kante earns praise

Emre Can Can battles with Paul Pogba during Premier League game between Man Utd and Liverpool

Paul Pogba has surprisingly identified a former Liverpool midfielder as his hardest opponent, while also giving special praise to international teammate N’Golo Kante.

The United midfielder finds himself at something of a career crossroads, with his deal at Old Trafford expiring in a matter of months. His future remains a hot topic of debate, with his personal trainer suggesting earlier this week that he will depart. The likes of Juventus, Real Madrid and PSG are all touted as potential destinations.

If he does depart United this summer, he will probably depart as something of a failure. He has shown glimpses of what he is capable – his four assists on the opening day of the season against Leeds illustrating that perfectly.

However, there are games when he fails to impress and stamp his obvious talent on proceedings. When you consider his performances for previous club Juventus and again with France, United fans will feel they should have got more out of their club-record signing.

And while his intentions are yet to be confirmed, Pogba’s latest interview, will perhaps be seen by some as something of a farewell.

Speaking with JOE, Pogba has spoken about the players he has found hardest to face during his career.

And perhaps to plenty of surprise, he has picked out former Liverpool star Emre Can as his toughest rival.

The Germany star departed Anfield as a free agent back in 2018, joining Juventus and going on to win two Serie A titles.

Can a tough cookie

Can is now back in his native Germany with Borussia Dortmund, but Pogba claims Can is a fearsome midfielder.

“Emre Can, yeah,” he said when asked about his hardest opponent.

“Obviously, N’Golo [Kante] and everything, but one day I remember I had a big battle with Emre Can. But with Kante, you pass him and you think there’s another N’Golo because he comes back so fast.”

Paul Pogba to return to Juventus this summer on a pay cut

Paul Pogba to return to Juventus this summer on a pay cut

Juventus contract will take a pay cut to go back to Juventus as Manchester United star will leave this summer

Pogba has faced Can on five occasions, though has never actually lost a game in which Can has played in.

And the United man has also come up against Liverpool on seven occasions. The World Cup winner has one win, four draws and two defeats against Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Paul Pogba ready to move on

All things considered, the midfielder will likely find himself at a new club this summer.

That stance appears to have been underlined by ‘Coach Maddy’, the man known as his personal trainer.

He told Calciomercato: “Regarding Pogba. At the end of June he will no longer be a Manchester United player.

“I think it is right for him to look elsewhere. Perhaps Manchester also wants to renew themselves and the most sensible thing is to separate.

“The time will come to change and try new challenges, new emotions, new environments for both Pogba and Manchester, to try something different and maybe they will both be happy.

“Right now I think he’s enjoying himself, they have a good team, especially since [Cristiano] Ronaldo decided to return. The problem is that the results don’t come.

“A top player doesn’t waste his time on minor competitions, he wants to be motivated to play for ambitious trophies.”

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