PAUL POGBA’S poor season has been put into perspective after being outshone by Philippe Coutinho — who departed England in January.
The Frenchman was under-par once again as he was hauled off in Manchester United’s limp 1-0 home defeat to West Brom on Sunday.
That came just eight days after the Red Devils overhauled Manchester City in a thrilling local derby to win 3-2 — as Pogba, 25, grabbed two crucial goals.
But for many Old Trafford fans who have been watching him all season, the performance papered over the cracks.
Pogba has been anonymous too many times for United this season.
While many have complained about a lack of midfield structure, he has not taken enough games by the scruff of the neck.
And that has been highlighted by looking at Coutinho, 25, who has trumped Pogba in some surprising statistics, despite leaving for Barcelona in the winter transfer window.
The former Juventus man has 25 key passes and 34 chances created over 22 appearances.
Both players have missed several games because of injury.
Pogba was out of 12 games in the Autumn — including seven in the Premier League— while Coutinho missed City’s first four league matches and three in October and November.
But even then the Brazilian has netted seven goals to his rival’s five in the league.
He has 34 key passes and six assists, which adds up to 40 chances created.
The United middle-man is ahead in two key stats though, goals scored and assists, with over double the assists of Coutinho.
Given Pogba’s status as a former world record signing, it leaves a lot of questions, especially given Coutinho has missed the Premier League for half the season.
Pogba vs Coutinho – Premier League stats
Games (Premier League): 22
Key passes: 25
Chances created: 34
Big chances missed: 6
Key passes: 34
Chances created: 40
Big chances missed: 1
Jose Mourinho said on Sunday: “Paul’s game was complicated, like many others. Always one more touch, always one more turn.
“In the first half I felt that I had to bring one player with more dynamic, more of a runner, more of a player that touch the ball in search of spaces.
“I had to make a decision of one midfield player out, to play Jesse Lingard, and then after that I want to give more width, and Paul had a yellow card.
“Before the substitution he had a situation not for a second yellow card, but you never know in football the way the referees react to that.”