Paul Pogba was once again the source of frustration for Manchester United fans on Sunday, this time against Stoke City.
A comfortable win was expected of the Red Devils but due to a lack of composure in front of goal – and David de Gea’s costly error – Jose Mourinho’s men were forced to settle for a point.
Chance after chance escaped Pogba, who squandered two golden opportunities in the first half, one of which a one-on-one with goalkeeper Lee Grant.
His failure to find the back of the net against a side who currently sit 19th in the Premier League summarised what’s been a frustrating second spell at United.
The burden of an £89 million price tag is clearly weighing heavy on Pogba’s shoulders.
Mourinho is yet to find the Frenchman’s ideal midfield partner and for brother Florentin, United need a game plan to prise the best out of Pogba.
Speaking to Telefoot recently, he said: “Paul is the image of the Manchester United team at the moment. They’ve a new coach, new players.
“They need to find a game plan.
“He starts to perform well slowly and I trust him. After a while, he will bring all what he can do for the team.”
So, what might consistitute as a “game plan” for United?
Where Pogba’s role is concerned, Mourinho needs to not only establish a long-term partner for the Frenchman, but also his role in midfield.
Joe Allen ran the show at Old Trafford and it was perhaps because of Pogba’s inclination to push forward and abandon his defensive responsibilities that he was allowed to do so.
What Mourinho must decide, then, is how best to deploy the France international.
Ander Herrera – another attack-minded midfielder – starting alongside Pogba and in Robbie Savage’s opinion, it’s a partnership that doesn’t bear fruit.
“I think the biggest problem [Mourinho’s] got is working out who to partner with Pogba,” he said on BT Sport in the build-up.
“Away from home in the big games, can you play [Ander] Herrera and Pogba? Two players who do like to get forward. I wouldn’t say Herrera is defensively minded.
“I don’t think you can play [Marouane] Fellaini with Pogba at all. Unless it’s the EFL Cup and they’re playing an awful team.
“I don’t think Fellaini’s a central midfield player at all for this football club.
“We’re talking about Manchester United here. I don’t think for a club of this size, you can play Fellaini with Pogba. Herrera away from home maybe not, so I think the problem is, who’s partnering Pogba?”