Jose Mourinho: Criticism of Paul Pogba has been "unfair"

Manchester United's Paul Pogba reacts after a missed opportunity against Celta Vigo on May 11, 2017
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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho concedes that Paul Pogba's tag as the world's costliest player has worked against him this season, but hopes that will soon change.

Jose Mourinho has claimed that Paul Pogba can be happy with his first season back at Manchester United, but concedes the midfielder's price tag has acted as a burden.

The France international returned to Old Trafford last summer for a world-record sum of £89m, four years after joining Juventus for a nominal fee.

Pogba has failed to truly live up to his billing as the planet's costliest player, managing just four goals and three assists in the Premier League all season, but Mourinho believes that the pressure may be lifted come the start of next season.

"I think the problem is the tag, the price tag on his back," he told Omnisport. "I hope next summer he's not anymore the highest transfer fee and then the pressure goes to somebody else. If his transfer fee was half of it, everybody would say 'what a buy,' 'he's playing more than good'.

"But everybody expects performances according to that huge transfer fee and that brings pressure and that brings sometimes unfair analysis. He had very good matches, he had very good performances. He always sacrifices for the team. If I go for example to Rostov, the way he played in Rostov was amazing.

"He had little matches where the performance was not so good but normally the performance is related to the team. So when the team was very good, he was very good. When the team didn't perform so well, he didn't perform so well. So I think it's a bit unfair. I hope next season some club beats the record with another player and then the pressure goes somewhere else."

Pogba has missed United's last two games due to the death of his father, but is expected to return for the final league game of the season against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney during the Premier League match against Southampton on May 17, 2017
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