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World-record buy Pogba is no Mikel, says Parker

Manchester United may have paid a world-record transfer fee to sign Paul Pogba, but Paul Parker says he does not even compare favourably to Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel.

Pogba is set to make his second debut for Jose Mourinho’s side in Friday’s home Premier League match against Southampton, but the club’s former defender has concerns over how he will fit in after the move.

Parker, who played for United between 1991 and 1996, feels the France international is not ideally suited to a holding role in the same way Mikel is, while captain Wayne Rooney already fills the starting attacking midfield spot. 

“Can he be as good as Roy Keane or Bryan Robson? I wonder about him playing that midfield role,” Parker said to 888.com.

“I worry about him making tackles and getting across to close players down because he is rangy. 

“He doesn’t have quick feet and his game is about going to ground. That’s going to be a problem. In a holding position, it would be a waste because he’s not a Makelele or even a John Obi Mikel.

“Pogba can get forward, and score goals, and pass the ball but in a high-tempo game, he won’t be very good in a deep role. We saw that in the Euros where he looked lost for long periods of games when France didn’t have the ball. So when United don’t have the ball what’s he going to be like?

“With Pogba you do wonder when you look at his style of play for Juventus can he play that way for Manchester United? If he plays behind Ibrahimovic that puts Wayne Rooney in doubt and Rooney has to play – not that he deserves a place, but they have to play him. So it’s a difficult situation.”

Wed 17 Aug, 2016
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