PAUL POGBA had an easy ride in Turin thanks to Juventus’ star-studded midfield, says the club’s sporting director Fabio Paratici.
Juve’s midfield also included Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal, contributing to a team which dominated Italian football during the 2010s.
Paratici was making the point that the Old Lady’s new central defender, Matthijs de Ligt, has a much tougher task because he is playing in a Juve side which simply cannot compare to Pogba’s all-conquering time with the Serie A club.
And he is having to cope without experienced Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, who is injured.
The £67.5m recruit from Ajax will not be allowed the offensive licence which Pogba was given because of the players around him.
Paratici, in an interview with Italian sports newspaper Tuttosport, said: “De Ligt is a monster. A monster! It’s the best investment on a young man we’ve ever done.
“It made me smile to hear that someone had doubts about him. I have always been convinced of his qualities, but those who gave me confirmation of everything were the companions who told me: ‘Director, it is a phenomenon’.
“It is a crazy thing because it takes a concentration and a total application, always, for all the 90 minutes of all the games.
“And he is not entering in a gradual way as it happened, for example, to Pogba who entered a midfield with Pirlo, Marchisio and Vidal.
STRONGEST DEFENDER IN THE WORLD
“He, due to the injury to Chiellini, was thrown in and must be the owner. He will become the strongest defender in the world.”
The midfielder has been out with an ankle injury since September – although reports claim that club insiders think he has been faking it.
He joined Juve on a free transfer after his original contract at Old Trafford ended, winning his first Scudetto title in 2013.
Pogba played in the 2015 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.
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His record of 24 goals in 93 Premier League starts for United compares well with his time at Juve, despite Paratici’s words.
He scored 28 goals in 108 starts for the Italians but clearly did not have to do the dirty side of midfield work thanks to the genius Pirlo and his hard-working colleagues in the engine room.
This post written by Alan Scott originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.