Paul Pogba wasted sat next to Nemanja Matic in midfield, says Ray Wilkins

Paul Pogba is an exceptional player who needs to be released and played further forward, according to Ray Wilkins

Paul Pogba is a future leader of Manchester United but is being wasted sat next to Nemanja Matic in central midfield, according to Ray Wilkins.

Pogba has been criticised for his recent performances for Manchester United, and reports on Friday suggest Real Madrid are planning a move for the France international in the summer.

But when asked whether he could see Pogba moving to the Spanish capital, Wilkins said: “It would surprise me. I don’t think Jose Mourinho, in any way, will allow him to leave.

“Over the next couple of years this fella’s going to be so important for Manchester United. This guy will be the leader of Manchester United.”

Pogba has been subdued in recent games for United – particularly their defeats at Tottenham and Newcastle – and was dropped for the win over Huddersfield.

Wilkins believes Pogba is an “exceptional” player but says Mourinho needs to tweak his tactics to get the best out of the 24-year-old.

He said: “I think he’s an exceptional player. He’s world class. But I think if you’re going to have him sitting in midfield with Nemanja Matic then you’re wasting a lot of his ability.

“Personally I would just release him – a bit like Chelsea have done with Eden Hazard – and allow him to go and do his own thing.

“He’s just a phenomenal athlete – he scores goals and creates goals. I just think he might be suffering a touch. We all go through lacks of confidence and he might be doing the same.