Vieira: Pogba just needs to be himself


Forget trying to emulate Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba should just try to be himself, says former Arsenal star Patrick Vieira.

Pogba became the most expensive player of all-time when he joined Manchester United in an £89million deal from Italian champions Juventus earlier this month.

The France international arrived at Old Trafford on the back of weeks of transfer speculation, joining high-profile signings in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the off-season. 

While Vieira - who was captain of Arsenal's 'Invincibles' last decade - says the hefty price tag will put pressure on Pogba to succeed, he believes his countryman just needs to be himself.

"I'm a massive fan of Pogba," Vieira, who now coaches New York City in the MLS, told the Mirror. "I think he's a fantastic player, no doubt about it.

"But at the same time I believe the Premier League is different, and there will be a lot of pressure on his shoulders because of the price tag and expectation.

"He will have to find the right balance because if he thinks he will win games by himself that will be a massive mistake for him. If he tries to do something that he can't do that will be a massive mistake as well.

"I read something interesting from [United manager Jose] Mourinho that he will win as much as Messi or Ronaldo.

"If people are expecting him to score 40 goals a season, that will not be the case, but he can make a difference with his physical and technical ability.

"He needs to find the right balance and do what he can best and not try to play as somebody else."

Vieira also believes the 23-year-old Pogba can continue to learn from the quality of players around him at United.

"There are some good players around, strong characters around him, who can help him to perform at his best," he added.

"Ibrahimovic, the way I know him, will be a really good person to help him to find the way and perform the way he can.

"He will have no choice any way but to listen to him! He will help him because he's a fantastic team-mate."