Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho says Paul Pogba is already the “best midfielder in the world” but expects him to be even better next season.
Pogba has been slowly improving after a slow start to the season following his world record £93.25m move from Juventus in the summer.
Mourinho says any player would find the Premier League tough after four years in Italy, but is tipping him to be a Ballon d’Or contender next year, if the voters judge the players on more than goals.
“The Premier League is very difficult,” Mourinho told French TV station SFR. “You play three, four years in Italy and you come to the Premier League and the world is completely different.
“He’s doing well, he’s doing more than well. His evolution is clear. So I can imagine that next season for Paul will be top.”
Pogba made the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or this year, but finished down in 14th despite a title-winning season with Juventus and helping France to the final of Euro 2016.
Mourinho feels that the sheer volume of goals scored by this year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo and his only real rival, Lionel Messi, means the less glamorous work Pogba gets through in midfield is overlooked.
“At the moment, if you’re not a goal scorer, you cannot win the Ballon d’Or,” Mourinho said. “But if the perception changes, then Paul can win it, because Paul is not a goal scorer.
“Paul is a midfielder who will score more and more goals, because I think he has good conditions to score goals. Paul is a midfielder, in my opinion, the best, the best in the world.
“Obviously, he’s young, he can still improve, he wants to improve, which is even better.”
-By Sky Sports