Gary Neville believes Paul Pogba is Manchester United’s “one real world-class player” and can become a legend at Old Trafford if he stays loyal to the club.
United’s former long-serving right-back – now a Sky Sports pundit – said he has no problem with Pogba’s performances but encouraged him to get more invested in the dressing room.
The Frenchman made his first appearance since Boxing Day on Friday, returning from injury with half an hour to go and winning the penalty which earned United a 1-1 draw against Tottenham.
He showed signs of a budding midfield partnership with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s January signing Bruno Fernandes, sparking plenty of excitement among the Reds supporters back at home.
“There’s no doubt that a committed Paul Pogba to Manchester United can be a great player,” Neville said on his official podcast. “His assists, his goals, are good. They’ve been very good in the last couple of seasons.
“He’s up there with some of the very best in his position in Europe. It’s just the case of settling down,” Neville added.
Pogba has found the net 31 times in 133 games in all competitions since re-joining the side where he rose through the academy ranks – in what was then a world-record £89.3million transfer from Juventus in 2016.
However, the 27-year-old has continued to be a source of transfer gossip, most notably when he apparently came close to signing for Barcelona after a fall-out with Jose Mourinho in 2018.
Pogba also hinted last summer that he could be ready for a “new challenge” and was linked with a return to Juve or a move to Real Madrid, who reportedly had an offer of £27.6 million plus James Rodríguez rejected.
Neville said Pogba would benefit as a player if the financial impact of coronavirus meant a drop in the number of expensive transfers between elite clubs.
He said: “Hopefully with the economic problems around Europe, teams won’t be able to go out and spend 80, 90 or 100 million on new players, Manchester United will keep him and Paul Pogba will understand that he’s staying at Manchester United.
“That’s all I’ve ever asked of Paul Pogba, just commitment. His performances, I’ve never blamed him for Manchester United’s problems over the years.
“I do believe he’s the one real world-class player – David de Gea I would have said two years ago – in Manchester United’s squad.
“He’s the one who should be leading from the front, and if there’s continuous speculation over his future it isn’t helpful, it creates doubt in the dressing room.
“Now, I feel there’s a better chance of that team really succeeding, and I think they’ll play at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, and there won’t be any doubt that he’ll play with Bruno Fernandes.”