Paul Pogba will never be “bigger than Manchester United”, says Paul Ince, with the Red Devils urged to ask whether they really need the Frenchman as they seek to resolve a distracting saga.
Despite seeing injury restrict him to just eight appearances in the 2019-20 campaign, the World Cup winner has continued to generate plenty of headlines at Old Trafford.
More questions have been asked of his future and ongoing commitment to the Red Devils’ cause, with talk of interest from Juventus and Real Madrid never far away.
The 27-year-old will be ready to return to the field when Premier League action resumes during the coronavirus pandemic, but his role as a talismanic presence in the middle of the park is now under threat from January arrival Bruno Fernandes.
With the Portugal international’s impact and regular criticism of Pogba’s form taken into account, Ince is looking for United to make a big decision on their £89 million ($109m) record signing.
The former Red Devils midfielder told the Evening Standard: “They’ve got to resolve the Pogba situation.
“It has to be resolved. You can’t keep having what we’re having every six, seven, eight weeks. He’s going, he’s staying, the agent comes out. Pogba is not bigger than Manchester United, no player is bigger than Manchester United.
“The way Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] is going, you don’t want any disruptions. He either knuckles down and starts performing the way he should be performing for the money he cost, or they sell him.
“The biggest thing for Man Utd is Fernandes coming in. Before that you are saying, ‘We need Pogba in there’. Now because he’s been out injured and Fernandes has come in, all of a sudden, ‘Do we need Pogba in there?’
“Does he get in there? I know he [Solskjaer] likes [Scott] McTominay. [Nemanja] Matic has come in and started playing well. Does Pogba start every game?
“If Ole thinks he’s not going to, he might think he can cash in and bring one or two other players in. But the saga needs to be sorted out before the start of next season because next season is a big season for Ole. A big, big season.
“But I like the way they are going now, I like what I’m seeing. I can’t make judgement yet. They are not there yet where Liverpool and City are, but signs are good and that’s a good thing to say because I didn’t see those signs a year ago.
“I like what I’m seeing. I like the place and I like the players they are bringing in. You’ve got to give Ole time now to take them where they need to be, which is challenging for the league title.”