Paul Pogba has not played since 26 December and has made just eight appearances this season
“I didn’t even know who he was.” Ouch.
Football may have ground to a temporary halt but it doesn’t look as though the animosity between Graeme Souness and Paul Pogba will be stopping any time soon.
It’s probably fair to say former Liverpool, Blackburn and Newcastle manager Souness isn’t the biggest fan of the 27-year-old Manchester United midfielder.
A long-time critic, the ex-Scotland midfielder, 66, has previously called Pogba “selfish” and suggested that, for the Frenchman, it’s all about “how cool he looks” and “how clever he is”.
And even in lockdown – and with Pogba currently injured – the criticism has continued.
In a recent Q&A with the Sunday Times, the Sky Sports pundit said: “Pogba has absolutely everything to be a top player – great athleticism, super technique – but his attitude to the game is the polar opposite of mine.
“He goes out with one thought in his mind: ‘I’m going to show everyone how clever I am today and be the star of the show.’
“He’d be an absolute doddle to play against.”
But finally, Pogba – who United paid £89m to re-sign from Juventus in 2016 – has hit back.
“I didn’t even know who he was, really,” the France international told the United Podcast.
“I heard he was a great player and stuff like that. I know the face, but [not] the name.
“I’m not someone who watches a lot of [punditry]. I watch a lot of football but I don’t stay after the game to listen to what they say about why they did this, or why they did that. I like to focus on football.”
It didn’t take long for Souness to speak out again, though.
Chatting to Jamie Carragher on Sky Sports’ The Football Show on Tuesday, Souness said: “You know the oldest saying in football comes to mind: Put your medals on the table.
“I’ve got a big table.”
Souness has won a fair few medals in his time. Five English First Division titles with Liverpool, as well as three European Cups and three League Cups.
But Pogba’s trophy cabinet isn’t exactly bare. Four Serie A titles from his time at Juventus, a Europa Cup win with United – and a World Cup winner’s medal from 2018.
It looks as though this spat might just be the gift that keeps on giving for some time to come.