Van Persie explains why positional change can see Pogba thrive at Man Utd

Date published: Tuesday 1st October 2019 7:00

Robin van Persie believes Old Gunnar Solskjaer needs to consider handing Paul Pogba a different role in the Manchester United side in order to bring out the best in him.

The World Cup winner was largely anonymous in the Monday Night Football as United’s hopes of clawing their way back into the top four took another dint after VAR intervened to correctly award Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang an equaliser for the Gunners.

With Roy Keane using his studio time to explain why United had to stick by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the long term in the wake of their ongoing struggles, another former star in Peter Schmeichel vented his fury at Pogba, with the Dane labelling the Frenchman as like a “problem child” during a spectacular rant.

The player has largely been used in a defensive midfield role by Solskjaer this season – last night alongside Scott McTominay, and with Daniel James, Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira as a three in front of them – but Van Persie reckons the position just does not suit the France star.

Instead, Van Persie believes United need to play Pogba as a No 8 – an old-fashioned box-to-box type midfielder – rather than one who either sits, or one whom is expected to add an avalanche of goals from midfield like a No 10.

Explaining his thinking, Van Persie – a title winner at Old Trafford during Sir Alex Ferguson’s final year at the helm in 2012/13 – told the Manchester Evening News: “For him, the coach, for us, for everyone, it’s just important to choose a position.

“Choose where you think, and the coach thinks, he plays the best football for himself and for the team.

“I would play Pogba not as a defensive midfielder, and not as a number 10 but in between – number eight position.



“So, he still has his freedom, he’s not judged then on 20-plus goals a season, if he scores 10-plus goals, makes assists, everyone will look differently at him then, but it needs to be clear for everyone.”

Keane, meanwhile, gave an insight into his own time as a player at Manchester United, naming the five toughest opponents he faced during his illustrious career.


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