Paul Scholes believes Manchester United and their star striker Romelu Lukaku are dearly missing the presence of injured Paul Pogba on the pitch.
The former Red Devils star is convinced that the absence of midfield engine Pogba, combined with a dip in form from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, is behind Lukaku’s recent goal-scoring drought.
After starting his United career with 11 goals in his first 10 appearances, Lukaku has now gone six games without a goal – his longest barren spell for nearly 18 months.
As far as Scholes is concerned, however, the player himself isn’t to blame.
“I think if Pogba comes back he’ll make a difference to the way they play,” he told BT Sport.
“He links the team together and I don’t think they have a good enough No. 10 at the moment and that doesn’t help Lukaku either.
“Pogba will make a difference and be more positive. Lukaku is having to do a lot for himself but Pogba will make the difference. They are missing a player to knit the team together.”
Pogba has now missed 11 games with a hamstring injury. While he recently returned to training at Carrington, United boss Jose Mourinho admitted earlier in the week he still has no idea when the Frenchman will be fit to return.
Meanwhile, Scholes also identified Mkhitaryan as a possible reason for United and Lukaku’s recent troubles.
The Armenian contributed five assists in his first three games, but hasn’t recorded any since, and Scholes reckons Lukaku isn’t getting enough support.
“I think the criticism came from the Liverpool game where his hold-up play wasn’t great,” he added.
“I don’t think Mkhitaryan helped him and he hasn’t had much support since then.
“He has to be strong and use his frame and he does have to get better, but he does need support as well.”