Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has named a current Red Devil as his surprise choice for the best player of Euro 2020 so far.
The end of the tournament is fast approaching, with 24 teams having been whittled down to four. Only England, Denmark, Italy and Spain remain standing. However, Rooney thinks the best player of the competition was someone not from that group of countries.
Instead, Rooney claimed that Paul Pogba was the standout star until France were eliminated by Switzerland on penalties in the Round of 16.
Many feel Pogba performs better on the international stage than he does for his club. While he enjoyed some good spells towards the end of last season, inconsistency has often prevented his then-world-record transfer from 2016 being judged as good value for money.
But the 2018 World Cup winner was getting into a stride at the Euros until his country’s exit. So much so, that Rooney thinks he was the best player of the tournament.
“Like a lot of people, I fancied the French to be champions and as a team they were a massive disappointment,” Rooney told the Times.
“That was a particular shame for Paul Pogba. He had been the player of the tournament until they went out.
“Some of the passes Paul played for Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe were incredible. It helped him to have N’Golo Kante as his midfield partner but I think the biggest reason that Paul’s performances were so good was his positioning.
“In all France’s games, he was playing deeper than we normally see him for Manchester United and this meant that he was able to pick the ball up in areas of the pitch where he had the time and room to pick a pass.”
Will Pogba stay at Man Utd?
United must consider such ideas when deciding whether to extend Pogba’s contract or not. Only 12 months remain on his deal and his agent Mino Raiola has done little to suggest a renewal is likely.
Nonetheless, talks are said to have been opened, even though United officials are somewhat divided over the best course of action.
Pogba would become United’s highest earner if he agreed to the fresh terms on offer. Some members of the hierarchy are not sure he justifies that.
In the meantime, Juventus are looking to re-sign him to reunite him with returning coach Massimiliano Allegri.
But if United can find a role for him more akin to the one he enjoys with France, they may try to keep him around for a few years longer.