Paul Pogba is being tipped to be a future club captain at Manchester United, having worn the armband in the back-to-back Christmas matches against Leicester City and Burnley.
The Frenchman had previously skippered the Reds for the Champions League double header against Basel earlier in the season, but the 2-2 draw at King Power Stadium on Saturday 23 December was the first time he had the honour of leading the team out in a Premier League fixture.
Speaking after that game, Mourinho insisted the 24-year-old has the “conditions” to eventually be given the role currently held by Michael Carrick.
“The decision is that in the Champions League we made Paul captain a couple of times when Michael, [Antonio] Valencia, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] and [Chris] Smalling were not playing,” said the manager.
“Against Leicester we felt that it could be an extra motivation for him and that was it, there was no special decision. But maybe, because he’s a young guy and made in the club academy, he has the conditions to be captain in the future.”
If Mourinho’s prediction proves to be correct, then Pogba would become the seventh graduate of United’s youth system to be appointed club captain since the war. The previous six* were Stan Pearson (1953-54), Roger Byrne (1955-58), Bill Foulkes (1958-59), Dennis Viollet (1959-60), Sir Bobby Charlton (1967-73) and
Gary Neville (2005-11).