Claude Puel Says Paul Pogba Is 'Completely Behind' Manchester United Improvement

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2019

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03:  Paul Pogba of Manchester United reacts during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester United at The King Power Stadium on February 03, 2019 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)
Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Leicester City boss Claude Puel has credited Paul Pogba with playing a key role in Manchester United's resurgence. 

Pogba set up Marcus Rashford in United's 1-0 win over the Foxes at the King Power Stadium on Sunday, and Puel had nothing but praise for the midfielder.

He told Le Parisien (h/t MailOnline's Will Griffee):

"He's completely behind this. He's become the team's leader, playing higher up the pitch in a sort of No. 10 role. He's decisive with his passing and his goals. He drags the team behind him.

"You can't man-mark him. He's powerful, can sniff out the right pass in the box, drives forward quickly. 

"You can't really stop him. It's a near impossible physical duel. It's a challenge to try and read what he's about to do. He's got great vision. With one or two touches, he can give amazing assists, especially over the defence. 

"He sees everything quickly and is technically on point. Some players are so productive that you play around them. That’s what’s happening at Manchester United."

The Frenchman put in a strong performance against Leicester, as football statistician Dave O'Brien illustrated:

He has been especially productive since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over in the dugout at Old Trafford in December.

Whereas predecessor Jose Mourinho consistently struggled to bring the best out of the star, Solskjaer has given Pogba greater freedom to push forward and create opportunities for the team.

In turn, Pogba's ability to contribute goals and assists has gone up a level:

He's also had more scope to develop chemistry with United's forward players, particularly Rashford.

The 25-year-old played a sublime ball over the top for Rashford to latch onto against Leicester, and he also set up the England international in United's 1-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur in January.

Football writer Liam Canning has enjoyed seeing them dovetail well together:

Solskjaer must take a lot of the credit for beginning to unleash Pogba's potential, and United will be delighted to finally be seeing the player they hoped he'd become when they spent a then-world record £89 million on him in 2016.

Few midfielders can rival Pogba's impact in games when he's on form. Now, he needs to show he can maintain his form over a longer period to help United become challengers at the top of the table once again.

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