Football: Pogba can be United captain, says Mourinho

Paul Pogba has all the qualities to be a future Manchester United captain, according to his manager Jose Mourinho.
Paul Pogba has all the qualities to be a future Manchester United captain, according to his manager Jose Mourinho. PHOTO: REUTERS

(AFP) - Paul Pogba has all the qualities to be a future Manchester United captain, according to Jose Mourinho.

The United manager believes the 23-year-old France midfielder's recent performances show he can be a long-term replacement for Wayne Rooney in the role.

Rooney's future at Old Trafford has been the subject of speculation, despite the fact he recently drew level with Bobby Charlton as the club's all-time record scorer with 249 goals.

The England captain said in November he wanted to see out his contract with United, which runs until 2019, although he has started only eight of their 20 Premier League fixtures this season.

Pogba's form, however, suggests a natural successor is emerging to take over the captaincy on a full-time basis when Rooney does move aside.

"I think he has," said Mourinho when asked whether he had the qualities to be captain.

"I think he has the charisma. The ambition. The mentality. He is a good professional. Being so young and with so many ingredients, I think he can."

Mourinho is wary of putting too much pressure on Pogba, though.

"It is not fair to say a player has to be dominant," he said.

"He is playing amazingly well, yes. No doubts about it. But the team is also playing well.

"I am not expecting the team to play really badly and for one player to have all the weight on his shoulders. Not Paul, not anyone.

"I expect the team to play well and Paul to be at the level he is playing now regularly."