Paul Pogba was the shock inclusion in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year when it was announced on Thursday, the morning after the midfielder attracted criticism for his performance in Manchester United’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester City.
The Frenchman, who drew the ire of United great Roy Keane before Wednesday’s Manchester derby, is the only inclusion in the line-up who doesn’t play for City or Liverpool.
— PFA | Professional Footballers' Association (@PFA) April 25, 2019
It’s a reflection of the dominance enjoyed by the top two this season with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Sadio Mane all rewarded for fine individual campaigns.
But it’s Pogba’s inclusion which has left many baffled. Although the 26-year-old has scored 13 league goals this season and registered nine assists, some have questioned how he can be included ahead of other players who have enjoyed standout campaigns.
Both Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min have been crucial to Tottenham Hotspur’s success - in both the Premier League and Europe - while Eden Hazard has been at his usual brilliant best during a difficult season for Chelsea.
Personal opinion: there are 6 players that almost everyone would have in team of the season (Van Dijk, Laporte, Robertson, Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva, Sterling). Everything else arguable ... except for Pogba's inclusion, which is just - sorry, Pogba fanboys - mind-boggling.
— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) April 25, 2019
Pogba is one of a group of players to have been chastised by United great Keane, who questioned the sincerity of an interview given by the French World Cup winner ahead of the loss to City.
“I’ve questioned this group for a long time,” Keane said during a Sky Sports broadcast. “There’s a lack of leaders, of character, so I wasn’t shocked [by United’s 4-0 defeat at Everton on Sunday].
“I’m always intrigued when you hear them say they’re up for the next game. I don’t fall for this carry on. Leopards never change their spots. These are the same players who threw Jose Mourinho under the bus and they will throw Ole under the bus too.
“There’s too many bluffers at this club to get them back to the very top. Standards have dropped all over the pitch.”
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