JOSE MOURINHO SHOULD play Paul Pogba on the left side of a midfield three more often if he is to get the best out of the Manchester United star, according to Ryan Giggs.
Pogba, 24, has been one of Mourinho’s star players since his arrival from Juventus as United currently sit second in the Premier League, 13 points behind leaders Manchester City.
Challenging for the league title may be beyond the Red Devils this term, but Giggs is confident they can have put together a stronger 2018-19 campaign if Mourinho uses his most expensive star properly.
“Manchester United’s attacking players are, without a shadow of a doubt, capable of winning the Premier League next season,” the United legend and recently appointed Wales manager told Sky Sports.
“They’ve got pace, guile, goals, experience and make up a really top forward line.
“I would say the forward line is as good as Manchester City’s, but the difference is the way of playing, with Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva behind consistently finding the front three for City.
“United have Paul Pogba who could potentially be as good as them, but then Nemanja Matic is more defensive, so it is just that creative area where City have got the upper hand.
“One of the best games Pogba had was the Everton game [2-0 win on January 1], when he was on the left of Matic – in a similar position to the one he played at Juventus – and Ander Herrera was on the right.
I think that position where he’s on the left of a midfield three is where he’s at his best. He’s a brilliant crosser of the ball and I don’t think he’s as effective when he’s having to do more defensive work in central areas.
“I would like to see him in a 4-3-3 with Matic sitting, Herrera to the right and Pogba to the left, with a selection of the front three thriving off more creativity behind them.”
Mourinho has more to think about than the France international, however, Giggs maintains. The Portuguese boss has one of England’s most exciting young players at his disposal in Marcus Rashford, who has four goals in 25 Premier League games this term.
The 20-year-old forward has started just 13 times in the English top flight this season and may find game time even harder to come by after the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal.
But Giggs hopes to see the England international push for a place in the starting XI, but admits he faces a tough task in usurping Romelu Lukaku as the regular striker.
“If I was in the position of Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial I would think it would force you to raise your game and that it is only healthy for competition in the team,” he added.
“Jose is finding out who can play where. Sanchez played on the right for Barcelona so I don’t think it is set in stone that he’ll play on the left every game.
I also think Jose has different options for different games. When you need a counter-attacking team then you go with Lukaku, Martial and Rashford, but then Juan Mata plays when United need his creativity to break teams down.
“The main problem for Rashford is his best position is as a striker and it doesn’t look as though he’s going to get in ahead of Lukaku. He was very good in that position against Yeovil but ultimately he’s not going to get as many goals over a season as Lukaku.
“However, I can’t see Rashford looking at his future at the moment. He’ll get enough games across the four competitions, but the issues are when he isn’t involved in the big games.”
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