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22-Jun-2020, 06:07 pm

‘Pogba isn’t a standard Premier League player, he’s world class’ – Manchester United midfielder saluted by Owen

Paul Pogba Manchester United 2019

Paul Pogba’s cameo appearance for Manchester United against Tottenham proved that he is “world class” and much more than a “standard Premier League player”, says Michael Owen.

Questions have been asked on a regular basis as to whether the France international deserves a standing among the global elite since he returned to Old Trafford in the summer of 2016.

There has never been any doubting his ability, with the 27-year-old a World Cup winner and talismanic presence for his country. Consistency has, however, proved to be an issue at club level, while fitness struggles having further hampered his progress in the 2019-20 campaign.

A return to action was made in style, though, against Spurs, with Pogba stepping off the bench in north London to win the penalty that allowed United to take something from a 1-1 draw.

His quick feet inside the box lured Eric Dier into a clumsy challenge, presenting Bruno Fernandes with an opportunity to convert from the spot, while there were also flashes of the power and passing range for which he is famed.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes there is much more to come from a player with many doubters to win over, with United eager to see Pogba flourish alongside Portugal international Fernandes.

Owen is among those expecting good things from that partnership, with plenty of encouragement taken from their first competitive outing together. Pogba must prove himself deserving of a key role in Solskjaer’s plans, with his outing against Tottenham showing that he can be a Premier League superstar if fit and firing on all cylinders.

Former United striker Owen told Premier League Productions of a man who continues to divide opinion: “These players are the difference. That is the difference between just a Premier League player and someone that we all talk about, all the time.

“That Pogba winning a penalty is just a moment of brilliance when the game is hard, when Tottenham get 11 men behind the ball.

“You need something out of the ordinary, and Paul Pogba has got that about him. The little shimmy and that’s it.

“If it wasn’t for him, then they would have got beaten 1-0. It’s brilliant play. That’s the difference between standard Premier League players and world-class players.”

Pogba will be looking to force his way into Solskjaer’s starting XI for a meeting with Sheffield United on Wednesday, with the Red Devils needing another positive result in that contest to keep themselves in the hunt for a top-four finish.

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