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13th Sep 2016

Irish TV pundit claims Zlatan Ibrahimovic is overweight, unfit and “not a big game player”

And Pogba is "going to be a spectacular failure"

Darragh Murphy

If only Manchester United had signed Wes Hoolahan…

Irish TV’s Eamon Dunphy is a notoriously difficult pundit to please and none of Manchester United’s summer signings have won him over after the opening month of the season.

Five goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and man of the match awards for Eric Bailly have done nothing to earn the admiration of Dunphy, whose disappointment in record signing Paul Pogba is a little more understandable.

Many analysts believe that Ibrahimovic could turn out to be the signing of the summer and he’s undeniably taken to the Premier League like a duck to water but, as for Dunphy, he foresees the former PSG front man being out of the team by the halfway point of the season.

Speaking after last weekend’s Manchester derby, Dunphy ripped United’s new arrivals to shreds based on their performances in a 2-1 defeat to arch-rivals Manchester City.

“[Jose] Mourinho may have lost the plot permanently,” Dunphy said on 2 FM’s Game On. “He’s bought this fella Ibrahimovic who scored a fantastic goal at the weekend when the new wonderful goalkeeper dropped the ball at his feet.

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

“Ibrahimovic won’t be in the team at Christmas. Not for the big games! He might knock over little teams like he’s been doing but he’s not a big game player.

“He looked overweight and tired after 20 minutes. So did Pogba, he didn’t look fit. Neither did Wayne Rooney who ended the game with his socks around his ankles which is always a bad sign. He is a shadow of the player he was.

“And this new centre-half Bailly looks like he’s a headbanger and should have been off the pitch at the weekend.”

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

Before slating Ibrahimovic and Bailly, the RTÉ pundit took aim at Pogba, who signed from Juventus for a transfer record of €105 million.

“We learned an awful lot [from the derby]. I think Mourinho has major problems and they’re not going to go away. Everybody he bought in the summer is questionable,” Dunphy said.

“Pogba, he’d be expensive… if you paid €50 million you’d think ‘Wow, we’ve made a move here’ but for €100 million, he’s nothing.

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

“He just doesn’t have a position you can play him in. He’s never done it and I think the harsh assessment of that would be that Alex Ferguson was right to let him go because he saw what I think I have always seen… this guy doesn’t have a game.

“There’s no way you can play him, he does nothing well enough. He doesn’t have a football brain and he takes up the wrong positions all the time. I don’t see anything in him and I think he’s going to be a spectacular failure.”

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