Paul Pogba is ‘one of the best when he is in this form’, says Rio Ferdinand after his match-winning display against Fulham… as Manchester United legend insists ‘tonight has proven he can play with Fernandes’
Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on Paul Pogba after his stunning winner against Fulham which sent Manchester United to the top of the Premier League on Wednesday night.
The Frenchman, who is in the midst of an excellent run of form in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, scored the decisive goal with a terrific curling effort with his left-foot in the 65th minute.
It was enough to send United top again, above Man City and Leicester, and ex-United defender Ferdinand believes former team-mate Pogba is ‘one of the best’ when playing at his current level.
Paul Pogba scored a stunning match-winner for Manchester United at Fulham on Wednesday
Former United centre back Rio Ferdinand insists Pogba is ‘one of the best’ when on top form
I think today he [Pogba] was brilliant, he did both sides well, defended well but created chances, the big difference is that he is playing quick, not dilly dallying on ball, the efficiency he is playing well is amazing,’ Ferdinand told BT Sport.
‘I don’t think Ole completely trusts him in the centre of midfield with the pace that some sides counter with, so he plays him out of those area, but in this game they felt they would dominate and so he can allow him to do it. One of the best when he is in this form.
‘He loves the game, [he] wants to showcase his talent. I saw Pogba grow up, I saw his talent first-hand, I think he is capable of playing in the midfield [alongside Fernandes], if he has the players around him he can do it.’
Pogba also netted the winner at Burnley last week and his influence is growing in this United side firmly in contention for the title.
His second stint at United since signing from Juventus in 2016 for a then world-record £89m fee has been up-and-down but despite reports still linking him with a move away, the 27-year-old World Cup winner is currently at the top of his game.
Pogba celebrates at the full-time whistle after a result which saw United return to the top
‘He has not been as consistent as he would have liked [since signing in 2016], but right now he is one of the more important players,’ Ferdinand added.
‘Top players use negative press as fuel. But the passion cannot be used if you are not playing, he is now.’
Pogba himself could not hide his joy post-match, labelling his match-winner ‘beautiful’ and saying it was better than his winner last week at Burnley.
It was Pogba’s second winner in three games after also netting the only goal against Burnley
‘I hit the ball well,’ Pogba said. ‘I didn’t expect it with the left foot like this but if you don’t try, then you don’t score.
‘It was a beautiful goal and beautiful win.’
Asked if it was better than his winner at Burnley, he said: ‘I would say yes because it was with the left foot. It wasn’t my favourite goal ever but a goal is a goal.’