Paul Pogba was not considered disciplined enough to play central midfield as a teenager, even in the reserves, according to former Manchester United star Darren Fletcher.
The then-teenage Pogba famously departed the Red Devils on a free for Juventus due to lack of an opportunity under Sir Alex Ferguson.
The France international blossomed into one of the world’s best with the Serie A giants, and ultimately landed back at Old Trafford in the summer of 2016 for around £90 million.
However, Fletcher has revealed a large part of the reason for his inability to get into the first team at the time was the belief among the coaching staff Pogba was not disciplined enough to play in the centre of the midfield.
Instead, Fletcher says the team viewed him as an option further forward.
“The first time I spent out with my illness I did a spell coaching the reserve team when it included Pogba, [Jesse] Lingard, [Ravel] Morrison and we played him higher up the pitch in attacking areas," Fletcher said on Sky Sports .
“We felt like he was the one who would win us game, coupled with the fact he was ill-disciplined in the middle of the park.
“It goes back to a famous game when we felt like he left off the back of against Blackburn.
“Paul was on the bench and the boss picked Park Ji-Sung and Phil Jones in midfield. We didn’t think he was disciplined enough for the reserve team, never mind the first team at that time.”
Pogba went on to star for Juventus and France in the central midfield, though he has shown plenty of quality going forward in his career.
The latest example of that came against Bournemouth, where Pogba was instrumental in the build up to Marcus Rashford’s late winner at the Vitality Stadium.
Fletcher still believes Pogba has a lot to offer going forward and hopes to see him in an advanced role in the future, where he has more of an opportunity to be creative.
“I like to see him in the final third and creating things," Fletcher added.
“He played for Juventus [on the left] and I spoke before about his connection with [Anthony] Martial. Pogba can easily drift out wide. He can also get in the box, he’s a big lad. I’d love to see him with a bit more freedom to express himself.”