Peter Crouch believes Paul Pogba could be better served in a ‘Steven Gerrard’ role for Manchester United.
Pogba has been an enigma since returning to Old Trafford four years ago and his most effective position is still remarkably yet to be determined.
The Frenchman is a constant source of transfer speculation and many supporters believe it would be beneficial for all parties if he was to move elsewhere next summer.
Pogba has had a slow start to the season after testing positive for covid-19 in the summer and lost his place in the first-team with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferring the more reliable Fred and Scott McTominay in his double midfield pivot.
But for all Pogba’s criticism, what cannot be denied is he has a talent that can be matched by very few midfielders in the Premier League.
And former Liverpool striker Crouch believes his true potential could be unlocked if he was given the chance to operate in a more advanced role like ex-teammate Gerrard.
“I’d never given that prospect any consideration, but now I have thought about it, I could actually see him moving up the pitch,” Crouch said when asked about Pogba in his Daily Mail column.
“He wouldn’t be a 20-goals-a-season striker, by any means, but he has all the qualities to be an outstanding link player.
“I feel Pogba could affect games the way Steven Gerrard used to do when I played with him for Liverpool and England — he’s that good.
“He’s got that star quality about him, you see it when he plays for France.
“I’ve been on the pitch with Pogba and always felt there were two or three gears in reserve that he could easily engage.”
Pogba’s obvious star quality is what makes his consistent lacklustre showings so frustrating for United fans.
But he could still be a real difference maker for United if he can produce his best form as the Reds head into the decisive winter period.
The 27-year-old was missing from the squad that beat West Brom 1-0 on Saturday, but Solskjaer has confirmed he should be in contention for Tuesday’s Champions League fixture against Istanbul Basaksehir.
“We hope he’s going to be available,” Solskjaer said in the pre-match press conference, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
“He trained this morning, see if there’s any reaction when we report tomorrow.