'Pogba's best will come'
Former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson believes the best is yet to come from the club’s £90m signing Paul Pogba.
While Pogba’s world-record transfer fee placed him under intense scrutiny, his reaction was impressive, helping the Reds to win the Europa League, the League Cup and the Community Shield in his first season back at Old Trafford.
He finished the campaign very strongly, and demonstrated in the colours of France against England in Tuesday night’s friendly of the huge potential the 24-year-old possesses.
“The media are always trying to criticise Paul,” Robson said.
“To a certain degree, that’s because of the transfer fee and not because of the player. But when I look at Pogba, he has come into the club and improved us in that area.
“He has got certain things our other midfield players haven’t got.”
Robson is backing the France international to have an even bigger influence in 2017/18 and further defy any detractors.
“Paul is not really appreciated by certain sections of the media but when he’s not in the team, I think he’s missed,” added the ex-United and England captain.
“With the confidence of winning three trophies, I think he will go on and have an even better campaign next season.”
Elsewhere in midfield, his former department, Robson is pleased that Michael Carrick has extended his contract for another year but he also feels the challenge is there for some younger options to emerge from within the squad.
“I’m absolutely delighted as Michael has got great experience,” the ambassador added. “He is good for the dressing room and knows what the club is all about. He is a really sensible lad who trains really hard and some of that can rub off on the kids coming through at this moment in time. I’m delighted to see he’s been given another year.
“I haven’t see too much of Andreas Pereira since he went abroad (to Granada) but he had great ability and hopefully a year’s loan will have just brought him on and made him a better player. It will be interesting to see how he does when he returns and I think we’ve got quite a few good young players who, next season, have got to step up a little bit more and prove they can be Premier League players week in and week out.
“They’ve always got to remember it’s not just a one-off game but they have got to come in and handle it - mentally and physically every week. When they’ve been around the first-team squad for a couple of years and keep doing it, then that’s the time to say they’ve really arrived at Manchester United. There is still a lot of hard work to be done for those kids.”
Meanwhile, United have signed Swedish defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica on a four-year deal.
The 22-year-old arrived at Manchester United’s Aon Training Complex on Wednesday morning after the two clubs agreed a fee which Press Association Sport understands to be 35million euros (£30.75million).
United boss Jose Mourinho said: “Victor is a very talented young player, who has a great future ahead of him at United.
“Our season last year showed us that we need options and quality to add depth to the squad and Victor is the first to join us this summer.
“I know that our fantastic group of players will welcome him as one of us.”
Lindelof had arrived in Manchester fresh from international duty with Sweden, where he was an unused substitute in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Norway. Lindelof has been a long-time target for United as they look to bolster their defensive options ahead of next season’s return to the Champions League.
He said: “I am thrilled to be joining Manchester United.
“I have enjoyed my time at Benfica enormously and I have learned a lot there. But I’m looking forward to playing in the Premier League at Old Trafford and for Jose Mourinho.
“I’m keen to get started and make my contribution to the team’s efforts to win more trophies.”
Lindelof could be one of three or four high-profile acquisitions at Old Trafford this summer, with the club also understood to be keen on Alvaro Morata.
The Real Madrid forward’s agent said earlier this week that United had lodged a “very important offer” with the Spanish giants to try to bring him to the north west of England.