MANCHESTER UNITED legend Rio Ferdinand has called out Graeme Souness over his refusal to praise Paul Pogba.
The French midfielder, who has entered the final 12 months of his Old Trafford contract, produced four assists as the Red Devils thrashed Leeds 5-1 on Saturday.
Sky Sports pundit Souness created a stir after only offering faint praise to Pogba, a player he has frequently heavily criticised, following that scintillating display and claiming Mason Greenwood was the real ‘star’ performer.
Fellow pundit Micah Richards highlighted Pogba’s four assists, to which Souness replied: “We expect that from a £100million man.”
Ferdinand initially defended Souness on his Vibe with Five YouTube podcast, saying: “I don’t think Graeme Souness articulated it but I believe he thinks… Let’s not get out of our pram about this, let’s not go overboard, let me see this for the next three months, I want consistency.
“I think that’s where Souness’ mind is at with Paul Pogba. If we’re being honest, consistency is probably one of the factors that goes against Paul Pogba in his Man United career.”
Ferdinand then criticised Souness’ unwillingness to praise Pogba’s historic achievement of creating four goals – a feat that only six players have ever managed in a Premier League match previously.
And he also hinted that Souness has broader issues with the former Juventus man.
Ferdinand said: “When a man produces four assists on day one of the season, you’ve got to put your feelings to one side and say ‘you know what, well played’ because it doesn’t happen often.”
Souness and Richards had a tense argument over Pogba’s conduct regarding his Old Trafford future at the weekend – leading to the Scot having to turn away from the camera to compose himself.
Ferdinand admits Pogba’s future is unclear but believes the 28-year-old wants to be a champion at the club.
SUN BINGO WIN A SHARE OF £250k (18+ T&Cs apply)
He added: “’I think if he smells success and a winning period, there’s something that says to me that he’ll go: ‘I want to be a part of it’.
‘”That’s all he’s come (back) for. When I speak to Paul, all he talks about is wanting to win. He’s got a burning desire to do that for Man United.
“He grew up (at United) as a kid, he wants to be known as one of the guys that was part of a winning team.
“If he walked out of Man United, I know for a fact that Paul Pogba would look back and go: ‘(I) didn’t win the Premier League, didn’t win the Champions League. That’s not what I came back for’. There would be unfinished business.”
⚽ Read our Man United live blog for the latest news and transfer gossip from Old Trafford