Date published: Monday 25th February 2019 7:19
Garth Crooks admits he is slowly but surely warming to “immense” Manchester United star Paul Pogba – but feels one of his teammates deserves the title as the club’s ‘most-improved player’ this season.
The BBC pundit, often known for his controversial statements, believes Victor Lindelof has made great strides in the United side this season and can now be considered the club’s first-choice central defender.
The Swede joined United in a £31.9million deal in summer 2017, but largely struggled during his first season at the club as Jose Mourinho failed to hand him a regular shirt.
But Lindelof was part of a United side who defied four first-half injuries to keep Liverpool at bay on Sunday – and Crooks reckons the defender deserves plenty of credit as a result.
“The fact that four United players suffered first-half injuries against Liverpool and yet still came away with a clean sheet and a point against Liverpool is bordering on the miraculous,” he said. “The United fans were amazing and kept their depleted team going as they spent much of the match under the cosh.
“I thought Victor Lindelof was a rock – amazing. Without doubt, he is United’s most improved player this season.”
Crooks backtracks over Paul Pogba
Crooks has also been especially verbal in his criticisms of Pogba in the past – but the pundit, writing in his BBC column – now thinks the France star is finally showing his true potential.
“I am starting to become quite a fan of Paul Pogba.
“Yes, I know it’s a bit embarrassing for me, especially after the chasing I gave him all last season.
“But with World Cup success on his CV, and in particular since the departure of Jose Mourinho, Pogba has struck form that must rank him as one of the top five midfield players in the world.
“In a United side ravaged by first-half injuries, his performance was immense.
“This was Pogba playing for Manchester United in a way I hadn’t seen him before. He’s become a grown-up.”
Another United star, Luke Shaw, was said to have enjoyed arguably his finest ever match since moving to the club and the left-back here has reflected on his performance and Liverpool’s decision to substitute dangerman Mohamed Salah.
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