Darren Fletcher believes the scrutiny placed on the performances of Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is ‘unfair’.
The France international has struggled to make an impact during the club’s difficult start to the new season, which has seen them win just twice in their opening eight league fixtures, leaving them languishing in the bottom half.
The 26-year-old is often a target for critics following Manchester United‘s poorest displays, though he has been absent in recent weeks as he recovers from a foot injury.
Fletcher believes the scrutiny and criticism of Pogba’s displays can be ‘unfair’, pointing to the statistical influence of his displays as evidence of his importance to the side.
Pogba remains a doubt for this weekend’s crunch clash with league leaders Liverpool at Old Trafford, and Fletcher believes it will be a ‘big blow’ to his former side’s hopes should the midfielder once again be absent.
“Without a doubt it is a big blow [if Pogba misses the Liverpool game],” Fletcher told Sky Sports.
”He is a leader, a World Cup winner. His performances get scrutinised to the level where it is a little bit unfair.
“If you look at the stats over a season – goals, assists, chances created, passes – he is Manchester United’s most dominant and influential player.
“People probably expect too much from him but if you look at the stats he always delivers and makes things happen.
“That’s probably where the criticism comes because he always tries things. Great Manchester United players have always done that, they’ve never gone simple or safe. Paul is maybe trying a little bit too hard.
“It’s a massive blow but also an opportunity for someone else to step up.”