Rafa Benitez says Paul Pogba has a long way to go before he can be viewed as a great player like Steven Gerrard.
Pogba made his long-awaited comeback in Manchester United ’s win over Bentiez’s Newcastle, scoring one and providing an assist on his return after two months out. United fans went wild for the return of their former world-record £89million signing but Benitez, who managed former England skipper Gerrard for years at Liverpool, cut through that euphoria and said Pogba is not yet in his fellow midfielder’s class.
“No, they’re different,” said Benitez, following the 4-1 defeat at Old Trafford. “Stevie was a top-class player for so many years.
“He was very consistent and could make the difference in every game, with or without the ball.
“He was a top-class player. Pogba is a great player, but he still has to be consistent for years like Stevie was for 10 or 15 years.
“Pogba is not my player, so I don’t need to talk too much about him. He’s a great player, like the majority of the Manchester United players.
Speaking after his return, Pogba who has a spell at United as a youngster before four years with Italian side Juventus said: “To come back, to play again, to see Old Trafford, to see the fans again, to score on my comeback, I feel blessed.
“Most of last season I had injuries, but small ones. You just have to recover well because the Premier League is different to Italy.
“It’s more intense and you have to think about recovery, then you have more games.
“I’ve trained very hard to come back fit. The season is really long so we have to be fit – not only me but all the players.”