Paul Pogba’s Manchester United teammates could have done more to ensure he had a successful first season back at Old Trafford, Jesse Lingard says.
Pogba has had mixed reviews since his world-record £89 million move from Juventus in the summer, having been credited with three assists in the Premier League this season, two fewer than Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney and only one more than defender Daley Blind.
But United have also been guilty of wasting chances in front of goal this season, many of them created by Pogba, and Lingard believes the midfielder’s campaign would be viewed differently had more of the opportunities been finished off.
“You see the power he has, the stature he possesses in midfield, no one can get near him and when he plays those through balls we’re always running for them,” Lingard said. “We need to finish more of them.”
Pogba has scored seven goals in 48 appearances this season, but has also hit the woodwork six times.
Only Manchester City forward Kevin De Bruyne has struck the post or the crossbar more often.
Lingard, part of the same United under-18 that won the FA Youth Cup in 2011, insists Pogba has been the victim of bad luck.
But he says the 24-year-old is only going to get better once he has adapted to the Premier League after four seasons in Serie A.
Lingard added: “It’s obviously his first year in the Premier League and it was going to take some getting used to.
“It’s the luck he’s had this season. We know he’s a world class player, he’s helped the team a lot and I don’t see why he won’t go on next season and score the goals he’s missed this season.”
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