In the wake of France’s World Cup win, Mourinho claimed that he hoped Pogba understood why he was so good during the tournament, in reference to the midfielder’s more disciplined approach when turning out for the national side. In a way, the Portuguese tactician was suggesting that Pogba plays very well for the national side in comparison to his performances for the club.
This is a widely held perception that the player will have to deal with especially when you consider his recent comments whilst with France for the international break. The question that begs for most Manchester United faithful is whether Pogba has been on a mission to orchestrate his own exit from Old Trafford? Let us consider the facts below.
According to statistics from WhoScored, there has been no drop in the level of performance by Pogba when playing for the club. If anything, it could be argued that he does more for the club than he does for his own country. He has averaged 2.5 shots per game for the Red Devils since the turn of the season in comparison to the 1.2 and 0.5 during the World Cup and the Uefa Nations League respectively.
Records for his passing accuracy in the Premier League and the World Cup do not show a great disparity either. As things stand, he has averaged 81.6 percent in the four appearances he has made in the league, whilst at the World Cup his accuracy stood at 80.2 in six appearances.
Finally, when it comes to goals, there is an expectation that he should score more, although we all appreciate that this could be difficult in his current position for the club. He managed to score one goal during the World Cup in six appearances whilst he has scored two in four fixtures for United this term. You could argue that he gets to take penalties with the club which is responsible in part for the return unlike with the national side.
Whereas we all acknowledge the underlying tensions between Mourinho and the clubs most valued acquisition, the same is yet to affect his performances on the pitch. The two clearly disagree on Pogba’s best position on the field but they have been professional in their dealings as attested to by Pogba in a recent interview.
We most definitely do not expect that the whole situation will prevail for long, but in the meantime, the fans can take comfort in the fact that there has been no downing of tools by the player.