Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has revealed that legendary duo Paul Scholes and Andrea Pirlo helped ‘push’ him, while he has also explained why he developed into a midfielder despite starting off as a striker.
Pogba came through the ranks in United’s youth academy but departed for Juventus as he looked for game time. But the Frenchman returned in the summer of 2016 as he had unfinished business at Old Trafford.
The midfielder has been one of the Red Devils’ key figures since his big money move, but he has struggled with injuries this season. As a result, he only managed to make eight appearances in all competitions before football was suspended due to the coronavirus crisis.
Now 27, Pogba is a World Cup winner and is regarded as one of the world’s finest midfielders when fit. He has now revealed that legendary midfielders Pirlo and Scholes are two players that he has learned a lot from, and they helped spur him on to reach the top.
Talking to Manchester United’s official podcast, Pogba said:
“Okay, I have to work hard and have a lot more to do. Pirlo and Scholes, those are midfielders who control the game, the players to look at, and I learned from them, a lot.”
The former Juventus man went on to explain that because he loves getting on the ball so much, he eventually ended up finding his home in the heart of the midfield. This is despite the fact that he initially started out as a striker before dropping into the number ten role.
He added: “I started as a striker and then a no.10 and then a no.6. Thank God, I didn’t go to centre-back! It was because I wanted to touch the ball too much.
”I was the striker and dropping too much, so one coach told me: ‘Okay, play the no.10 and touch the ball more’. I still loved the ball too much and had too many touches so he put me at no.6.“
Elsewhere, Pogba revealed that his mother knew he would depart for another club, but she also knew that her son would return to Man Utd at some point, and Pogba was delighted to come back to where it all began.
“My mother always told me: ‘You will go somewhere but come back’. She always said this. I was like: ‘We will see’ but you know mothers, and the things she said: ‘You will come back here, don’t worry’ and that was just after.
“Obviously, coming back to where I started was, for me, why I was really happy. Now, I was ready to come as a confirmed player, not a youth player.”