Man Utd star Paul Pogba has much to learn before Steven Gerrard comparisons - Rafa Benitez

NEWCASTLE boss Rafa Benitez reckons Paul Pogba still has it all to prove before he can be mentioned in the same breath as Steven Gerrard.


Posted Monday, November 20, 2017 by Dailystar.co.uk

Man Utd star Paul Pogba has much to learn before Steven Gerrard comparisons - Rafa Benitez
Paul Pogba scored and assisted against Newcastle for Man Utd on his injury return

Pogba returned to action for the first time since September to inspire Manchester United to a 4-1 thrashing of Benitez's side at Old Trafford.

But despite Pogba's man of the match performance, Benitez is convinced he is not yet in the same league as England and Liverpool legend Gerrard.

"He Gerrard was a top-class player,"sad former Liverpool boss Benitez. "Pogba is a great player, but he still has to be consistent for years like Stevie was for ten or 15 years.”

United broke their transfer record to re-sign Pogba from Juventus in a £90m deal in 2016.

And he ran the show from start to finish against Newcastle, setting up one goal and scoring another himself.

The midfielder's absence has been a big blow to United, who have fallen eight points behind league leaders Manchester City.

His return is a huge boost as Jose Mourinho's side look to close the gap on Pep Guardiola's men as well as challenge in the Champions League.

But Benitez says only time will tell if comparisons with Gerrard will be justified.

"Stevie was a top-class player for so many years,"added the Spaniard.

"He was very consistent and could make the difference in every game, with or without the ball.”

Benitez also took another swipe at Magpies owner Mike Ashley by admitting clubs like his can't be expected to compete with the likes of United due to the lack of spending on Tyneside.

Ashley is looking to sell the club and Benitez insists he has no idea if he will be able to sign new players in the January transfer window.

"It is very hard to get away from the money situation,"said Benitez. "For a newly-promoted team like us, it is always going to be difficult because we haven't had the same level of money for the last couple of years.

"That is a massive thing. Then the teams at the top of the table, they have that money, plus all the extra money from the TV and the Champions League.

"The ambition is to stay up and try to be as high in the table as possible. But the main thing is to stay up.

"I don't know what will happen (in January). I will keep working until January as hard as I can to improve my players.

"If we can do something, we will. If not, I will try it improve the players that are available to me.”

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