Berbatov Explains What Paul Pogba Did In First United Training Session
Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has revealed how Paul Pogba turned the heads of his fellow players in his first ever training session with the club.
Pogba joined United’s academy team from Le Havre in 2009, a year after Berbatov moved to Old Trafford from Spurs and would eventually make just seven first-team appearances in the 2011-12 season.
In an interview with Betfair, the Bulgarian revealed what 18-year-old Pogba was like on the training pitch.
“I remember Paul coming to play with the first team, training with us.
“He was just enjoying being in Manchester and was good friends with the first team and when you’re happy, you’re settled.
“He caused a stir in training straight away. He was tall, athletic, would get the ball from me, intercept it and got on my nerves.
“I knew I had to take this guy seriously because he had something.
“You could see from the beginning that he had technical ability, vision of the game, where to position himself and now you can see the result – he is one of the best in the world.”
Pogba was perhaps not as settled as Berbatov once thought. Following the 2011-12 season Pogba, now notoriously, left United for Italian champions Juventus on a free, which has now proved to be one of the biggest mistakes during Sir Alex Ferguson’s legacy.
At the time the Scot criticised the move, “I don’t think he showed us any respect at all so, to be honest, I’m quite happy,” but has since insisted that he wanted to keep the Frenchman at the club.
Ferguson blamed Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola for the exit, that he had convinced the young midfielder that Manchester was no longer his home.
During his time in Turin Pogba established himself as premium midfield talent scoring 34 goals and assisting 43 times in 178 appearances.
In 2016 he returned to United for £89m, breaking the transfer record at the time.
His time at Old Trafford once again looked shaky under Jose Mourinho but since the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the 26-year-old has returned to form and scored nine goals and assisted seven since December.
Words by George Buksmann