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Pogba progress encourages Mourinho

London (AFP) – Jose Mourinho believes Paul Pogba is becoming a commanding figure in Manchester United’s side after the midfielder extended his personal unbeaten record in the Premier League to 35 matches.

The Frenchman joined United for a then world-record £89.3 million ($118.2 million, 100.6 million euros) from Juventus in 2016.

But he took time to settle and last month United great Paul Scholes accused him of “just strolling through games”.

But Monday’s 3-0 win at home to Stoke, a result that meant United closed to within 12 points of Premier League leaders Manchester City, saw Pogba provide assists for goals by Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial with well-judged passes.

Mourinho said Pogba’s increasingly assured play was a sign that his United team-mates were adjusting to his style.

“He was moving the ball fantastically well,” Mourinho told the club’s television channel MUTV.

“(With) long passes, changing of direction, creating problems to the opponent in relation to their (midfield) block. Assists. If he scores the free-kick with the last shot of the game it would be really a reward for him.”

Mourinho added: “I think he’s happy, he’s happy the way the team is playing — very adapted to him. He’s happy because the team is changing the profile and the profile is going more in his direction.”

Pogba is now level with the City duo of Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane at the top of this season’s Premier League assists chart, having helped set up nine goals.

And having missed this term’s league losses to Huddersfield, Chelsea and City, it is now 35 games since Pogba was involved in a Premier League defeat — a heavy 4-0 reverse against Chelsea in October 2016.

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