Pogba: I learned a lot from Abou Diaby

Paul Pogba believes he has plenty to do to match the modern midfield greats and also owes a debt to an unheralded former Arsenal man.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba   -  Getty Images

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has identified Abou Diaby as a major influence on his playing style.

Fellow France international Diaby played 16 times for Les Bleus during his time with Arsenal but his career was cruelly derailed by persistent injuries.

The 32-year-old spent last season without a club after only managing five Ligue 1 appearances in two years with Marseille, but memories of his better days endure for Pogba.

Asked to rank himself alongside contemporary central midfielders on Canal Football Club, Pogba named Diaby alongside a host of stars indisputably at the top of the world game.

"Who is stronger than me in central midfield? [Andres] Iniesta, [Luka] Modric, [Toni] Kroos, [Kevin] De Bruyne, [David] Silva – even Abou Diaby," he said.

"He was exceptional at Arsenal. People forget about him but I learned a lot from him."

Pogba has endured mixed reviews since returning to United from Juventus for £89.3million in 2016. This weekend he was linked with a switch back to Juve by Italian newspaper Tuttosport.

Giuseppe Marotta dismissed the notion of Pogba turning out for the Serie A champions once more as "fantasy football" earlier this week.

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