Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has hailed midfielder Paul Pogba as one of the best players in the world. The World Cup-winning midfielder has been sidelined since the start of the year with an ankle injury and is slated to return early in February, Berbatov who spoke exclusively with beIN SPORTS feels that Pogba has a strong relationship with boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
“I think that Ole has the respect of Pogba, way back when I was there because they were both in the second team and this is really important because Pogba is a star man. You want your star man to be happy. Players now have even more power in the team.”
Berbatov went a step further to say that Pogba needs to justify the then world-record fee United paid to Juventus to bring the player back to Old Trafford, adding that he needs to be playing regularly for the side.
“It’s not easy being as probably famous as Paul is at the moment because that brings a lot of pressure as well and responsibility, price tag, he needs to justify it and stuff like this but for me, he needs to be a big part of the team, honestly.”
United, who take on Burnley later on this evening, have been inconsistent this team and are currently are in fifth place in the Premier League. For Berbatov, Pogba plays a crucial on and off the pitch for United.
“When he’s playing his best game, he’s one of the best in the world. Sometimes it’s not happening for whatever reason, I’m not in the team so I cannot comment, but he needs to be there, honestly.”
“He can control and speak with his teammates and have that great understanding with them and, as I said, he needs only to stay healthy.”
Pogba has had plenty of criticism about his commitment to United this season, with angry fans accusing the flamboyant midfielder of not focusing on his own game. For Berbatov, this is just a part of the modern game.
“Now we live in times where you need to be on Instagram, you need to be on Facebook on YouTube or stuff like this, you need to be there. Yes, some people can say it gets in the way of him playing football but I cannot agree with that.”
“Now it’s different times and they will change even more. This is young players. They need out be out there. They need to have their own way of expressing themselves.”
For now, Pogba must focus on getting back to full health and helping his side compete in the final third of the season both domestically and in the Europa League.
“The main thing stays on the pitch, you need to produce. Otherwise, they will criticize you for all the things you do outside of the pitch.”
You can hear more from Berbatov, including his view on Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola in the video above.