Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Pogba Set to Thrive with Fred's Arrival

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Pogba Set to Thrive with Fred's Arrival

Article excerpt

JOSE Mourinho will watch Paul Pogba closely this summer as he tries to find the best way to unlock the United midfielder's true potential.

Pogba's inconsistency has been the greatest frustration of Mourinho's Old Trafford reign so far, having convinced United to swallow their pride and pay a world record fee to bring him back to the club two years ago.

The decision to drop the Frenchman for key games last season was evidence the Reds manager's patience had been pushed to the brink.

The relationship between the pair remains under scrutiny - but there is a determination within the club to ensure Pogba is allowed to be a success. Which is why the signing of Fred looks so crucial to the £89m man's future.

Mourinho made it a priority to recruit a world-class holding midfielder this summer as he tries to find the right balance in his engine room.

While he refuses to give Pogba the freedom to play as an entirely attacking midfielder, Fred's arrival is intended to give the 25-year-old more scope to go forward.

And France World Cup winner Patrick Vieira believes a top-quality holding player is the key to tapping into his countryman's true potential.

As such, Mourinho will monitor N'Golo Kante's influence on him in Russia.

Vieira said: "Having Kante around him should help.

"For a coach, Kante is the dream No.6. He is shy off the field, but so strong on it, sacrificing himself for the team.

"He's smart, and he can play, but the key thing in that job is giving more than you take. You do the work for others and his temperament is perfect for that position. "With Kante able to do so much covering in midfield, that should help Pogba play his own game in support of (Antoine) Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele."

Mourinho was convinced to pay £52m for Shakhtar midfielder Fred because he believed the Brazilian was the perfect replacement for the retiring Michael Carrick. …

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