Phil Jones says his Manchester United team-mate Paul Pogba can be “as good as he wants to be” and insists he has “earned the right” to express himself
Pogba has often been criticised for how he lives his life off the pitch, whether he gets a new hair cut or posts on social media.
The midfielder won the World Cup with France last summer but endured a difficult start to the domestic season as Jose Mourinho’s time at Old Trafford came to an acrimonious end.
But he has been in scintillating form since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the reins, scoring eight goals and providing six assists in his last 13 league games.
"He used to run rings round Scholesy!" 👀— Goal (@goal) March 14, 2019
Phil Jones says Paul Pogba can be as good as he wants to be 🙌 pic.twitter.com/RzYGQj5CCq
And Jones says that while Pogba is making plenty of headlines off the pitch, his current performances on it are silencing any doubters.
“He does the talking on the pitch," Jones told Goal in an exclusive interview.
"Maybe people do that outside of football but don’t really do it on the pitch. He’s earned that right from what he’s done and he can do whatever he wants as long as he performs like he’s doing at the moment.”
Jones played alongside Pogba while the youngster was on the fringes of Sir Alex Ferguson’s first team during the 2011-12 season, and still remembers the midfielder offering a glimpse into the future when he came up against United legends in training.
“Paul’s Paul,” Jones adds. “When he was at United before he left to go to Juventus I remember how he used to come into training and take the mick out of… well not take the mick but used to run rings around Scholesy and all the players and everyone used to be wowed by him.
“He’s come back and Paul’s Paul, he’s an unbelievably talented player. The things he can do with the ball are incredible, he can see a pass, he’s got a left foot, right foot, his shot, he’s a strong boy, and he can be as good as he wants to be.”
The Red Devils are next in action on Saturday as they look to secure a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup with victory over Wolves at Molineux.
By that time they will also know their opponents for the Champions League quarter-finals as one of four Premier League sides to have qualified for Friday's draw.