Paul Scholes claimed Paul Pogba will still be doing “this stupid stuff” at the age of 35 after the Manchester United midfielder disappointed against Atalanta.
Pogba was restored to the starting line-up for Tuesday’s Champions League game after missing the 3-0 Premier League win at Tottenham due to suspension.
However, the France international was substituted with 69 minutes gone despite United trailing 2-1 to the home side after a frustrating performance.
Pogba gave up the ball 13 times in the United midfield, including once when he dawdled on the ball on the edge of his own box and had a pass cut out, with Eric Bailly scrambling to deny Duvan Zapata a clear shot at goal.
United in the end salvaged a 2-2 draw, with Cristiano Ronaldo, who had earlier cancelled out Josip Ilicic’s opener, blasting home a second in the 91st minute after Zapata’s goal looked to have given Atalanta the win.
Pogba leads the assists charts in the 2021-22 Premier League with seven, but his inconsistent form continues to be a concern for United, who could see the World Cup winner leave on a free transfer next year if he does not sign a new contract.
Former United star Scholes thinks Pogba is unlikely to change his ways and will always need someone to keep him focused on the pitch.
“He wasn’t great, he was sloppy. I don’t think we question the character of the team, but the quality was seriously lacking,” Scholes said on BT Sport.
“We know him [Pogba], we’ve been with him. He needs somebody talking to him all the time. He needs somebody there that he totally respects. He needs experienced players behind him.
“How old is he, 28, 29? He’s a really experienced player, but he’s one of them, he’ll get to 35 and he’ll be exactly the same. He’ll still be doing this stupid stuff where he’s trying to stud-roll the ball, trying to hold people off, show how strong he is, show how skilful he is, and people know it now. They watch it all the time.
“[I would be on to him] every single day. One and two touches, and pass it. And concentration: the biggest thing with Paul is his concentration. He goes away with the fairies at times.
“Think of the Juventus team he played in, where he was brilliant, which is why we signed him, by the way. The experience around him: [Andrea] Pirlo, [Giorgio] Chiellini, [Leonardo] Bonucci, [Gianluigi] Buffon, an aggressive manager who’s telling him all the time. He will need that treatment until he’s 35.”
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