Wolves and Manchester United have had very contrasting starts to the season in a way not many people would have imagined.
While Nuno Espirito Santo’s men will be pleased with the amount of points they have picked up from their opening five fixtures, Jose Mourinho’s side will not be happy with the amount they have dropped.
However, things have picked up for Manchester United over the last couple of weeks after wins against Burnley and Watford and having started off their Champions League campaign with a victory following their 3-0 defeat of Young Boys last night.
Paul Pogba helped inspire Manchester United to their first European win of the season after he netted twice at the Stade de Suisse and, overall, has largely been at the heart of all of the Red Devils’ good moments thus far.
Likewise, the same thing can be said about Wolves’ own midfield maestro Ruben Neves, but how does his influence measure up to that of Pogba’s?
Neves was fantastic for Wolves last season as they won promotion back to the Premier League, and the Portuguese playmaker has carried that form into the new campaign.
Alongside compatriot Joao Moutinho, who arrived at Molineux during the summer, Neves has be dictating and controlling games from the middle of the park.
Other than his free-kick on the Premier League’s opening weekend against Everton, Wolves supporters are yet to see the kind of long-range efforts Neves was blasting into the roof of the net back in the Championship.
However, the Portugal international’s influence goes well beyond his ability to score from long distances with his passing range and vision tools that are just as efficient.
His development in the Championship and how he has begun this season have been so impressive that both Saturday opponents Manchester United and their rivals Manchester City have become interested in his services (via Goal).
TT Grade: A-
As previously mentioned, Manchester United’s best moments this season have come when Pogba has been at his best.
Although Young Boys are not the strongest of opposition out there, Pogba’s performance from midfield was a menacing one and perhaps one the Frenchman has not shown enough of since returning to Old Trafford back in the summer of 2016.
The first of his two goals resembled the way he found the back of the net so often for Juventus. The World Cup winner confidently took on and beat a couple players before smashing the ball into the top corner in a way not many individuals are capable of doing.
With Pogba, since arriving back in England, no one has questioned his ability. He can pass and strike the ball in a manner that other players could only dream of.
However, for whatever reason be it his relationship with Mourinho or the system he is playing in, some are always left with the feeling he should have done more during a particular game.
Nevertheless, Pogba is still a world-class midfielder — or at least has the ability of one.
TT Grade: A
Neves and Pogba are both the hubs of their respective teams. In essence, everything goes through them.
They are the ones tasked with controlling the tempo of games and creating chances, something that Neves has probably done better — although he has been playing in significant weaker leagues.
Pogba, though, is unplayable on his day, has more in his locker and way more experience at the top level. And when he is not on the top of his game, Manchester United, more often that not, fall apart.
Furthermore, the former Juventus man wins this battle.