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“Give me a break”: Rio Ferdinand says Paul Pogba criticism was always nonsense

Paul Pogba

The former Juventus star was regularly targeted as he struggled to impress under Jose Mourinho, but his performances have been transformed since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival as caretaker manager in December.

United’s record £89 million signing has scored eight goals and provided six assists in 12 appearances since the Norwegian took over at Old Trafford, and former Red Devils defender Ferdinand leapt to the 25-year-old World Cup winner's defence.

“A lot of people wrote Pogba off, said he wasn’t trying hard enough, said he wasn't good enough to play for United, but I knew that was nonsense, total nonsense,” he told Planet Football.

“This is a guy who has already won so much in his career, who scored in a World Cup final last summer and people were saying he wasn’t up to the task of playing at the highest level? Give me a break.

“Instead of picking out the negatives and trying to find what Pogba can’t do, find the positives and realise that he is the most effective midfielder in the Premier League when he is played in his proper position and utilised in the right way.

“Ole and Micky [Phelan] didn’t need long to understand how to get the best out of Pogba; almost from the moment they arrived, his performances changed. The same can be said of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and a few others because they are now enjoying their football again.”