Paul Pogba’s name has been thrust back into the headlines by Mino Raiola after he untimely declared that the midfielder’s time with Manchester United was over.
Those comments came on the eve of United ‘s crucial Champions League clash with RB Leipzig, where Pogba came off the bench to score but the 3-2 defeat saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side eliminated from the competition.
With less than two years remaining on his contract at Old Trafford, speculation surrounding Pogba is likely to be front and centre during the upcoming transfer windows – and Raiola’s declaration has certainly caused a stir.
While there has been plenty of criticism in the media, the consensus from the players on Pogba has been made clear time and again – with his leadership and quality being identified.
Here, we’ve gathered a selection of what his teammates have had to say about the France World Cup international.
Nemanja Matic – July 2020
“I think at the moment he is happy. When you are injured and outside of the pitch people will always talk and rumours will always be around him, but he can do anything.
“As soon as he came back to training with us and playing I think he has shown that he is happy to play football and he is a great guy.
“I think for me it is very important that Paul stays because that gives us more quality. Also, with his personality, he brings a lot to the team.
“Of course, you never know what is going to happen in life but I see him happy at the moment. I wish for him to stay, I wish for the team. It is good he is a great guy for the group there is always fun around him. I will be happy to see him for a long time at Manchester United.”
Bruno Fernandes – April 2020
“I think we have a lot of good players in the midfield. Obviously, Paul is injured from a long time [ago], and all we know is he has a lot of qualities.
“We can say in football that people normally forget what you do good when you have a mistake. You can do good for 34 games, and one game you do bad and everyone will remember that.
“Paul is coming from a bad moment, because of the situation. When he played also, the club and the team was not good, because the expectations are high for Paul, because Paul is a top player and Manchester United pay a lot for him, and expectations are a lot for him.
“It’s normal when you are in that situation you don’t play like a superstar, because everyone expects from Paul like they expect from [Cristiano] Ronaldo at Juventus or [Lionel] Messi at Barcelona.
“Everyone expects this from Paul in Manchester, because they know he has the qualities for this. Also this is confidence in Paul. The team, we have a lot of confidence in Paul.”
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – August 2019
“Coming into this team as a new signing, you’re not nervous but you think: ‘Am I going to settle in quick?’ But they were all good to me from the start, which made it so much easier.
“The older players help me a lot. Paul Pogba has advised me a lot. That first game in Perth, he was telling me the same thing everyone has: you’re here for a reason, play your game, play without fear, get up and down – that’s what I put into my head.”
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After the disappointment of Champions League elimination, Manchester United have the perfect opportunity to lift themselves this weekend.
They welcome Manchester City to Old Trafford for the first derby of the season. It’s the first encounter in several years where United find themselves ahead of their neighbours in the Premier League table, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team will be hoping to continue their recent good form against the Blues.
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Juan Mata – July 2019
“We all know Paul and he’s a fantastic midfielder and he’s a very good guy, very positive, good influence for everyone.
“I think he’s happy, he brings everyone together. But I cannot speak for other people. I cannot speak for myself, for my present and my future in the club.
“And obviously as a team-mate, and as a friend also, I would like him to stay and to be happy because he is a very good player for us, but I cannot say much else.”
Anthony Martial – February 2019
“We all know what quality Paul possesses – Paul is Paul. Now he has got this freedom to play with, I think we are beginning to see the real Paul Pogba play and let’s hope it continues.
“He is a leader, he talks more in the dressing room than he does on the field to be fair. Technically and with the spoken word, he is a leader in both senses. I hope he can continue to lead us to great things.”