Paul Pogba’s performances since returning to Manchester United have drawn the same criticism as Gareth Bale’s after the Welshman’s record-breaking move to Real Madrid, according to Florent Malouda.
France midfielder Pogba moved back to Old Trafford from Juventus in the summer for a world-record fee of £89.3 million, but he has, so far, struggled to match the fee with performances on the pitch.
Ex-Chelsea winger Malouda was sympathetic towards Pogba’s situation and feels that he will ultimately be a good investment for United, just like Bale has been for Madrid after his big-money move from Tottenham in 2013.
“When people keep talking about his transfer [fee], it can be hard.” Malouda said. “When such money is spent on any human being, it can be stressful. Like Gareth Bale before him, who was a good player before his transfer to Real and he is still one, but the criticisms were high.
“If you put that kind of money on the balance of any human being, there will always be those who talk negatively. Everybody enjoys Pogba’s game. He’s young and talented with personality. Any player moving to the Premier League needs time and Pogba’s no exception.
“I think Manchester United have made a good investment and they are building for the future and I think Pogba would make it into any team in the world now.”
Malouda is now playing for Delhi Dynamos in India, but amassed 80 caps for France during the prime of his career which spanned two World Cups and two European Championships.
He thinks that, like Pogba, Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann is an exceptional talent for his country and could be good enough to bring success to France in future tournaments as they prepare for their World Cup qualifying game against the Netherlands.
“I think it is a good thing for France to have a player like Griezmann. He is such a talent,” added Malouda. “We needed someone who can lead the national team like Griezmann. He was the best player in the Euros. It’s blissful to watch him play.
“Young players should analyse his game and movement on and off the ball. I hope that France will benefit from his presence in the coming tournaments, especially the World Cup in 2018.”