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Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Manchester United Class of 92's Paul Pogba Criticism

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 19, 2019

Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba celebrates with his medal and Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (R) after the UEFA Europa League final football match Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United on May 24, 2017 at the Friends Arena in Solna outside Stockholm. / AFP PHOTO / Jonathan NACKSTRAND        (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/Getty Images

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has hit out at Manchester United's Class of 92 for criticism toward the club's record signing Paul Pogba. 

The Los Angeles Galaxy striker spoke to the Mirror's Andy Dunn and referred to Sir Alex Ferguson's old guard as "the circle of Ferguson," whom he suggested have not been consistent in their critiquing of Pogba:

"With Pogba, he was with United when he was young, then he went out and he came back.

"And in the circle of Ferguson, they don't like that. Because they stayed all their life under Ferguson and they never moved from Ferguson.

"And they didn't even talk if Ferguson didn't tell them to open their mouth. So now if they are talking, I don't know whether Ferguson gave them permission or not."

The France international—like many others in United's squad—has improved significantly since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho as manager in December.

United's Class of 92 refers to the group of players who came through the club's academy in the early 1990s and went on to become legends, namely David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville.

Scholes, Giggs and the Nevilles have each tried their hand at management since retiring. The former has openly questioned Pogba and raised concerns about his consistency last summer.

United's midfield talisman has scored 14 goals and recorded 11 assists in all competitions this season. Ibrahimovic, 37, believes the club's icons should leave the criticism to others, per Optus Sport:

Optus Sport @OptusSport

"Always complaining and criticising..." Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a dig at Manchester United's legendary Class of '92 that featured the likes of Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham. #Ibrahimovic #ManUnited #Classof92 #OptusSport https://t.co/Yn3asajWnL

The Swede went on to say he felt Pogba could become "the best player in the world in his position" and referred to Marcus Rashford as the future of the club: "He [Rashford] has big potential and a big future with United and the special thing is that he comes from the academy. I think he has no limits."

Ferguson won 38 trophies with United between 1986 and 2013, cementing his place as one of the greatest managers of all time.

It's possible comparisons with Ferguson's success are a positive thing for the club, and it was confirmed early on in Solskjaer's tenure that he sought guidance from his old boss:

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

Solskjaer says he has already spoken with Sir Alex Ferguson for advice about the manager's role. #mufc

Ibrahimovic scored 29 goals in 53 appearances for United over the course of a season-and-a-half at Old Trafford. The Red Devils won the UEFA Europa League and Carabao Cup during his first season in England, but Mourinho's time at the club was considered largely unsuccessful.

He questioned the constant comparisons made at Old Trafford between the club's incumbent stars and the legacy that was created under legendary figure Ferguson:

"Everything that happens is judged by the era of Ferguson. They are saying if Ferguson was here, this would not happen, Ferguson would not do it like that. Ferguson would do it like this. Everything was Ferguson.

"If it was me, I would say I don't have Ferguson any more. And I come here and I want to make my own history, I want to make my own story. So I do not want to hear what happened before. I want to do it in the present. You come in with a new mentality.

"Ferguson has his place in history at this club but now the club continues. It has to find its own identity and it is difficult."

Pogba is enjoying the most prolific season of his career to date but won't return to action for United until they host Watford after the international break on March 30.

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