Manchester United: Paul Pogba Wants Critics to Forget About Transfer Fee

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.
Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, December 11 2016. Pogba says critics should forget about his world-record transfer fee. Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty

Paul Pogba wants his £89.2 million world-record transfer fee to be consigned to the past as Manchester United prepares to face Anderlecht in the UEFA Europa League quarterfinal on Thursday evening.

Pogba, 23, has faced criticism from supporters and pundits for his play on the pitch this season and his commercial activities off it but in a press conference before the game at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium he offered a stout defense of his first season back at Old Trafford.

"People talk about the mountain of the transfer. People say, 'Pogba should score goals, Pogba should do this,'" the Frenchman told reporters including The Times in what was, remarkably, his first press conference this season.

"My job is to be a midfielder, make the game, do some assists. If I was scoring the goals that hit the crossbar I don't think people would speak. We can forget about the fee. It's in the past."

Pogba became the most expensive player in football history in the summer of 2016 when he rejoined United, following four years at Juventus in Serie A.

United's form has been uneven in 2016-17, its first season under the management of Jos é Mourinho, with dropped points at Old Trafford leaving it four points behind fourth-placed Manchester City with a game in hand. But winning the Europa League offers another route back into the UEFA Champions League next season.