Paul Pogba can “look a little bit lackadaisical”, admits Gary Pallister, but the Frenchman is considered to be a “genius” with match-winning quality for Manchester United.
Ever since completing an £89 million ($116m) return to Old Trafford in the summer of 2016, the enigmatic talent has seen his every move dissected in minute detail.
His on-field performances have often been deemed to fall below the standard expected of him, while his antics away from the pitch have generated as much debate as those on it.
Such inconsistency has left many of those at Old Trafford frustrated, including manager Jose Mourinho, but Pogba has shown flashes of the brilliance which has made him a global star and World Cup winner.
Pallister is now looking for more of that in 2018-19, telling 888sport: “At times he can look a little bit lackadaisical with the ball but at other times he can light up the whole stadium.
“The latter is what people at Old Trafford want to see: I mean that ball he played for Fred against Wolves was a moment of absolute genius.
“He saw the pass, he executed it, and it was right out of the top drawer and he has the ability to do that god knows how many times in a game.
“When we’re out of possession people look at Paul and think he could give a little bit more for the team. And that comes from being an £89m player and being talked about as one of the best players in the world.”
While more is being demanded of Pogba, the same can be said for Alexis Sanchez.
The Chilean arrived at United amid much fanfare in January, but the former Arsenal and Barcelona star has struggled for form as Mourinho endeavours to find the right role for him.
Pallister added of another man proven at the very highest level: “I was absolutely buzzing when United signed him because his performances at Arsenal showed he was a world-class talent.
“But for whatever reason it has not been working out and I’m sure Alexis will be one of the first to say he has not been producing the form we expected of him.
“Maybe he doesn’t suit the manager’s style of play. Maybe he hasn’t been hitting it off with the forwards he’s playing alongside.
“But I think he will turn it around and he will score goals and excite the crowd. It’s about getting the balance right and then we’ll see the best of him.”
Read the full 888sport interview with Gary Pallister including his thoughts on Mourinho and Pogba’s fractured relationship.