London: Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand praised new signing Paul Pogba as “a huge talent”, adding the French midfielder is worth the world-record fee the English Premier League giants have paid to re-sign him from Juventus.
Pogba, 23, has returned to Old Trafford for a whooping 89 million pounds.
“Paul is a huge talent and someone with the personality to handle that price tag. He can do everything. He is still working out the best way to use all of his weapons but, once he does, he will be an absolute monster of a player,” Ferdinand was quoted as saying by BBC on Tuesday.
Pogba joined United in 2009 but made only seven substitute appearances before leaving for Italy in 2012 as a 19-year-old, with a tribunal ruling Juventus had to pay 1.5m pound for him.
“Paul told me before he left that he wanted to be the best player in the world. He is on the right track to achieving that. He won a lot of trophies at Juventus and his mentality means he wants to keep on winning things. If he does that at United then he will be up there to contend for individual accolades as well,” added Ferdinand, who made 453 appearances for United after a British record 30m pound transfer from Leeds in 2002.
Pogba’s fee eclipses the 85m pound Real Madrid paid Tottenham for Wales forward Gareth Bale in 2013.
“From training with him and playing with him I know all about his self-belief and work ethic, as well as his ability as a player. Those are the two big things you need to be a success at United. Paul’s character means he will deal with being such a big investment – so that won’t be a problem. As well as that, he will relish the responsibility on his shoulders of bringing medals and trophies to the club. That won’t faze him at all.”
Pogba helped France reach the final of European Championship 2016 as hosts – where they were beaten by Portugal – but did not always live up to his billing as one of the biggest stars at the tournament.
“Paul started off a bit anxious and eager to please but he settled down in the knockout phase,” said 37-year-old, a former England captain.
“He produced two excellent and really mature performances in the quarter-finals and semi-finals against Iceland and Germany. I said two years ago at the 2014 World Cup that I thought he would become the world’s best midfielder. He is not there yet – but there is a lot more to come from him,” Ferdinand, who spent 12 years at Old Trafford signed off.