Paul Pogba is becoming a “game-changer” for Manchester United, says Dimitar Berbatov, with the France international playing with a smile on his face again as exit talk at Old Trafford begins to fade.
It appeared at one stage as though the World Cup-winning midfielder was destined to head for the exits.
Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, has claimed that he considers his client’s stint in England to be “over”, with it only a matter of time before a new challenge is sought elsewhere.
The talented 27-year-old has, however, played his way back into form since those comments were made, with match-winning performances being produced on a regular basis.
Vital goals have been delivered in meetings with Burnley and Fulham, allowing United to take up a standing at the top of the Premier League table.
Pogba is finally looking like an £89 million ($122m) asset, with Berbatov pleased to see undoubted potential being unlocked in a player who has faced plenty of criticism across a second spell in Manchester.
The former United striker told Betfair: “For me, in a team performance, some players can shine. It could be Pogba or Bruno Fernandes, but it is the mindset of the team as a whole to overcome results.
“People were criticising Pogba but now they should be praising him. Everyone would like to see Pogba playing like this as much as possible. If he is 100 per cent fit, happy and settled in his environment with his focus only on football then his performances can be decisive.
“Back in December his agent said he was unhappy and there was talk of him leaving, look at him now! The truth is out there somewhere – you know that film!
“You hear whispers and rumours. I say it as a joke, but you look at Pogba now and do you see someone who is unhappy? I see someone enjoying his football, scoring goals and intercepting the ball. He looks happy playing for the team.
“Maybe in December there were other factors, maybe it was an injury or other factors. However, for now, if he continues like this with the game he is showing, the quality is there to be a game-changer.
“He is playing for one of the biggest teams in the world and is one of the game’s biggest stars. He must be happy because his body language looks like he is happy, fit and healthy. That is great for him and the team.
“He looks happy most of the time. Sometimes critics can affect you and your performance, but at the moment, he should be happy with himself.
“Pogba is a bigger superstar than I was and the spotlight is bigger on him. The pressure on him is worse. He needs to perform and carry the team. When you are producing games like this you want to yell back at the critics and say ‘do you see me now, this is what I can do’.
“Of course you are going to have bad games. All players go through this phase. At the moment, he should just be very pleased with himself. His qualities are game changing when the team needs them.”