Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho had a special message for his players before the introduction of Paul Pogba in their Premier League game against Man Utd in north London.
The pair never saw eye to eye and the Portuguese boss was never really able to get the best out of the Frenchman after his big-money return from Juventus.
But Mourinho knows the qualities that make a top player – and it is clear that he recognises Pogba’s talent.
In the latest part of the Tottenham Hotspur: All of Nothing series on Amazon Prime, Mourinho was unable to hide his true feelings on Pogba.
He had special instructions for his players regarding the Frenchman as he awaited his arrival in their clash in North London after the coronavirus pandemic.
The game marked Pogba’s long-awaited return after injury and the Spurs boss was proved right as he helped change the game and won a penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw.
Mourinho told his players before he came on exactly what to expect as he told them to press Pogba and limit his options.
Yet they were unable to act as a cross field ball to Rashford exactly as predicted required a recovery tackle from Davinson Sanchez.
Addressing the squad at half-time in the dressing room, Mourinho said: “I think, for sure, sooner or later Pogba is coming. And every time Pogba has the ball, he will have the vision, he will have the quality of pass.
So I can imagine Pogba from a position like that [deep right of midfield] to get the ball and to make a beautiful pass here for Marcus Rashford to go.
“So Pogba will improve the quality of passing, so we need to press him. And we need to control what is far from him.
“They want to press all the time. You need to measure the risk, don’t make mistakes, don’t attract the pressure.