Paul Pogba has frustrated since returning to Manchester United, admits fellow World Cup winner Frank Leboeuf, with there “too many problems around” a France international who lacks consistency.
Big things were expected of the 27-year-old midfielder when he returned to Old Trafford in a record-breaking £89 million ($110m) transfer during the summer of 2016.
Pogba has, however, made as many headlines for his failings as for his successes, with many questioning his appetite and commitment to the United cause.
That has seen transfer talk surface on a regular basis, with moves to Juventus and Real Madrid mooted once again prior to the coronavirus pandemic casting doubt over big-money deals.
Leboeuf concedes that his compatriot needs to rediscover a spark, with the recent arrival of Bruno Fernandes in Manchester showing how leadership skills should be offered under the brightest of spotlights.
The former Chelsea defender told ESPN FC of United’s enigmatic playmaker: “There is a frustration and it’s understandable when you have seen his performances.
“He started pretty well, he showed that he could be a leader but I think there is a lack of consistency in his game.
“No doubt that he is a fantastic player, he’s shown it at Juventus and at the beginning when he joined Manchester United.
“Since then there seems to be so many problems around him, around the club, or around his team-mates that in fact, we don’t see the Pogba we want to see with all the qualities that he has.
“Maybe he’s a leader in the dressing room but he doesn’t show that he can be a technical leader like Bruno Fernandes immediately showed to the crowd when he signed for Manchester United.”
Pogba is now being tipped to remain with United for at least another 12 months, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer among those to have talked up the potential of pairing a club-record buy with Portugal international Fernandes.
He has told Sky Sports: “Good players can always play together, so definitely, they can – it’s a big yes.
“I think it’s exciting… we do have an exciting squad. I’ve got Scott (McTominay), Fred, Nemanja (Matic). There are many games coming up and I’m sure we can find a good connection between them. We’ve been discussing that as a coaching team of course, and we’re looking forward to it.
“Of course Bruno coming in, making the impact he made, it was a boost for everyone, the club, supporters and players. Getting Paul and Marcus Rashford back would be fantastic.
“Paul has had a difficult season with injuries, and Marcus as well is getting back. So for us, and for them too, this gives them a chance to start on a par or even ahead of other players.”