Rafa Benitez claims Paul Pogba isn’t on Steven Gerrard’s level because of one reason

Paul Pogba put on a majestic display on Saturday evening to prove without a doubt he was definitely back.

The French superstar had been on the shelf for two months with a hamstring injury, but he played a pivotal role on his return to the side against Newcastle with a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win.

As the second most expensive midfielder in the world – at £89 million – the former Juventus man carries a lot of pressure around when he plays, but there is no doubt the Red Devils have been a far superior side with him in their XI this season.

Rafa Benitez was forced to watch as Pogba left Isaac Hayden for dead to stand a cross up for Anthony Martial’s goal and he also left the former Arsenal man lagging behind as he strolled onto Marcus Rashford’s knock-down to score.

But, the Spaniard knows a thing or two about world class midfielders.

During his tenure as Liverpool manager, Benitez guided Steven Gerrard to winning the Champions League and, arguably, played a key role in making him a world-class talent.

While Pogba is on his way to that kind of stature, the Newcastle boss insists he has a way to go.

Benitez said: “They are different. Stevie was a top-class player for so many years. He was very consistent and could make the difference in every game, with or without the ball. He was a top-class player.

“Pogba is a great player, but he still has to be consistent for years like Stevie was for ten or 15 years.”

Speaking to BT Sport back in January of this year, Gerrard was full of praise for Pogba: “I think he’s got better and stronger week by week. He’s obviously a phenomenal talent.

“I think coming with that big price tag early on has weighed him down a bit and Manchester United weren’t in the rhythm but I think now they’ve found his best position.

“He’s young, he’s leggy, he’s got all the tools in the bag and there’s no doubt about it he’s one of the best midfielders now and he’s going to get better which is a scary thought being a Liverpool fan!”