FILE - Aston Villa's Jack Grealish shakes hands with Manchester United's Paul Pogba as they leave the pitch after their English Premier League match at Old Trafford in January. Photo: Carl Recine/AFP
FILE - Aston Villa's Jack Grealish shakes hands with Manchester United's Paul Pogba as they leave the pitch after their English Premier League match at Old Trafford in January. Photo: Carl Recine/AFP

Sell Paul Pogba and buy Jack Grealish, says ex-Manchester United coach

By Staff Reporter Time of article published May 14, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – Former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen has urged the club to sell French World Cup winner Paul Pogba and replace him with Aston Villa talisman Jack Grealish.

Pogba, whose future at the club is still uncertain, has been putting a number of impressive performances of late, and has helped the club reach the Europa League final, where they will take on Spanish club Villarreal in Poland.

Meulensteen, who spent a number of year’s as Sir Alex Ferguson’s number two, has urged current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to let the Frenchman go.

“He [Solskjaer] likes to play with two pivots in Fred and McTominay, the Dutchman told Stadium Astro.

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“The reason for that is to protect the back four but I think you need another midfield player in there that is more creative that can do a bit of both like Fernandinho at Manchester City, or Fabinho with Liverpool.

“Pogba creates an imbalance in the team because he has to play, he can’t play as one of the two pivots. Defensively people run off him so he doesn’t do his defensive job.

“You play him from the left OK you try to manufacture something there. I’m not sure. Maybe the best way is to say can we get some money from him and look at what we need.“

He continued: “I think with the stature of Pogba comes expectations. I don’t think overall he’s lived up to those for whatever reasons. So if I could I would cash-in on him and reshape the team.

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“The other problem is Pogba has never openly to the fans committed himself to Manchester United, how much he wants to play for this club. These are big issues for me.”

Meulensteen, currently the assistant coach of the Australian national team, said while Declan Rice was a promising player, he didn’t think he had it in him to play week in, week out for a club of United’s stature.

“Declan Rice for me is a very young promising player, but playing for Man Utd is different playing week in week out. You need to be really coming up with the goods.

“I’m not too sure if he would be my pick there are other names touted around. A player like Grealish, he would have the DNA to play for Man Utd and the stature for it and he would have the ambition but it would change the outlook of the team. He is a ball hogger, he likes to dribble and create things for himself.”

IOL Sport

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