Evra: Pogba won the respect of Giggs and Scholes
Patrice Evra believes Manchester United should never have allowed rising star Paul Pogba to leave for Juventus, describing his departure as a ‘huge loss’ for the Premier League champions.
Pogba, 20, departed Old Trafford on a free transfer in 2012, despite being held in high regard by United players and coaches – including Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.
The talented France midfielder had grown disillusioned with life under Sir Alex Ferguson and decided to leave for the Italian champions after Manchester City pipped United to the title on goal difference.
‘His [Pogba's] talent on the pitch, his aggression, his presence, is very rare,’ said Evra in an interview with French TV station TF1.
‘He very quickly earned the respect of players like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.
‘It’s true that have you have to win over the manager too, but to have won the dressing room like he did [was impressive].
‘It was truly a huge loss when he left the club.’
Pogba, who is with Evra and the rest of the France squad ahead of their internationals against Australia and Finland, had earlier shone a light on why he decided to leave United.
He recalls being overlooked for the 3-2 defeat against Steve Kean’s Blackburn Rovers on New Year’s Eve 2011 – despite United’s squad being stretched, with Michael Carrick deputising at centre back.
Pogba told the French television station: ‘I said to Ferguson: “Play me, and I will show you if I’m ready or not”.
‘Against Blackburn, on December 31, 2011, I was on the bench. Ferguson puts Rafael in midfield with Ji Sung Park. Then I gave up. I was really bummed.’