Former Manchester United captain Paul Ince says he can appreciate why Paul Pogba would be irritated with Jose Mourinho playing him out of position.
He also believes the arrival of Alexis Sanchez has impacted the Frenchman’s performances.
Speaking exclusively to Paddy Power News he said: “If what is being said about Paul Pogba is true, that he regrets joining Man United, then I would be disappointed but not surprised.
“I can understand why Pogba might feel irritated with the position Mourinho currently has him playing in. He likes to roam, he likes to attack, he wasn’t signed to be a holding midfield player and that’s clearly not what he enjoys or is best at. So why does he insist on playing him there?
“You can see what has happened. Sanchez wants to be on the ball and wants to be part of the action. And it’s simple, you can’t have both him and Pogba roaming across the pitch. Because then you’ll lose the shape of your team.
“So, what happens then? Have you signed Sanchez, who was a brilliant buy, but now you can’t play him alongside Pogba? That’s just crazy. You end up in the kind of situation like when Lampard and Gerrard couldn’t play together for England. You must find a way.
“The signals that are coming from Pogba is that he is not happy, and if he doesn’t feel like he fits in then I could see him leaving in summer. He’s one of the best players in the world and deserves to be played in his right position where he can show that off and express himself.”
Ince feels that Pogba has suffered since the arrival of Sanchez, and should be aiming to be at his level.
“Since Alexis Sanchez joined the club Pogba’s confidence and mood seems to have gone in the opposite direction to earlier in the season. He looks like a totally different player,” he said.
“It’s probably due to the fact that pre-Sanchez, he was the main man. He was the kingpin and the one everyone was talking about. But the arrival of the Chilean has taken the shine off him.
“What I would say is, at Man United, you’re all main men. You should all perform like that, too.
“Looking at the Newcastle game, you could see from his body language that he’s fed up. Whatever it is, it’s a problem that needs addressing. The fact is, the way Alexis Sanchez played in that game, is exactly the level Pogba should be aiming at.
“A real problem Man United have is they don’t have a player, other than Sanchez, that can grab a game by the neck and turn it around. Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay are just not capable of that, and it’s not good enough.
“You watch Liverpool and Man City, and they have Mo Salah and Kevin de Bruyne who can literally turn a loss into a win in no time. Against Newcastle, no one can do that for United. The chances they had were from set-pieces or little scraps in the box.
“It pains me to say it as an ex-player, but they’re not lethal enough and they don’t cut teams apart like their rivals do. Their position in the league flatters them in that respect.
“They shouldn’t be struggling to break sides like Newcastle down, not with the money that they have spent. A top four place isn’t guaranteed if they carry on playing the way they are.
“I can’t believe I’m sitting here saying this, that after all the cash Mourinho has spent, they still don’t look as impressive as City, Liverpool or Tottenham. They might not be when you look at the table, but performance-wise they’re way behind.
“That shouldn’t be the case. But when you watched those sides play in the Champions League this week they looked far more capable of getting results than United.
“Even though a lot of money has been spent, the team is still a way off, especially in defence. Chris Smalling isn’t United standard, though Eric Bailly and Phil Jones are on their day. It’s okay signing magnificent attacking players but when you still have rocky patches at the back, you’re going to end up being found out.”
Paul Ince was speaking exclusively to Paddy Power News. To read more, visit news.paddypower.com