Paul Pogba made his much-awaited second Manchester United debut in the 2-0 win over Southampton on Friday night and looked at home straight away at Old Trafford.
The Frenchman was resigned for a club-record fee and it was immediately clear to see just how the former Juventus man will revolutionise the way the Red Devils play this season.
United have lacked a top-class box-to-box central midfielder since Paul Scholes was in his prime and the way that Pogba was continually at the heart of the action was mightily impressive.
Not only is he physical enough to win the ball back, make interceptions and dominate aerially, his ability on the ball, skill and the way he beat Southampton opponents will have stoked the imaginations of the home faithful.
— Goal (@goal) August 20, 2016
Looking at the statistics from the game, as reported by Goal, Pogba had almost 40 more touches of the ball than his closest team-mate – the Frenchman had possession 103 times.
His defensive work-rate and combative nature were on show, with the former Juve man engaging in 20 challenges and he won the ball 13 times.
Despite pre-match talk that Pogba was not fully fit, come close to the 90 minutes the star midfielder was still bursting forward and getting himself into excellent attacking positions.
The only perceived negative was at-times loose passing, with the star losing the ball more than any other United player.
— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) August 19, 2016
It was interesting that Marouane Fellaini was selected as the Frenchman’s midfield partner, with the giant Belgian seemingly in the team to cover as Pogba breaks forward.
But, unlike in the recent past where a midfielder at Old Trafford has either been labelled as a holding defensive player or one that is entitled to create and get forward, Pogba has the lot and can do both.
Jose Mourinho has a responsibility to use the world’s most-expensive player carefully and ensure he stays fit – if he does, United will be in the title race and Pogba could well be the catalyst to return to the club to their glory days.