The former Old Trafford favourite has suggested that there is a gulf in class between his compatriot and the Red Devils’ summer signing from Ajax
Patrice Evra hailed Paul Pogba for his stunning strike against West Ham, admitting that comparisons between his ex-Manchester United team-mate and Donny van de Beek make him “laugh”.
United picked up a club-record extending ninth consecutive away win by beating West Ham 3-1 at the London Stadium on Saturday, thanks to second-half goals from Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford.
However, the Red Devils were very fortunate to head in at half-time only 1-0 down, with Jared Bowen and Sebastian Haller both guilty of missing clear chances either side of Tomas Soucek’s opener in the 38th minute.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were being outfought and outrun in every department, but the Norwegian head coach recognised that changes needed to be made and brought on Rashford and Bruno Fernandes to start the second half, with Van de Beek and Edinson Cavani forced to make way.
The visitors emerged with fresh impetus in the second period, and with Fernandes driving the team forward from the middle of the park, the inevitable equaliser came just after the hour mark.
Fernandes raced onto a Dean Henderson clearance before teeing up Pogba 35 yards from goal, and the Frenchman unleashed an unstoppable curling effort which beat Lukasz Fabiański in the West Ham net all ends up.
Greenwood completed a stunning turnaround moments later with a trademark finish, before Rashford rounded off the scoring 12 minutes from time after being played through by Juan Mata.
Evra singled out Pogba for praise post-match, and also suggested that there is a gulf in class between his compatriot and Van de Beek, who joined United from Ajax for £35 million ($47m) in the summer transfer window.
“What a great goal from Paul. When people compare him to Van de Beek, it just makes me laugh. Look at that goal,” the former Red Devils full-back told Sky Sports.
Evra went on to credit Solskjaer for his in-game management, but also conceded that there is still plenty of work to do for a United side who have developed a worrying habit of giving the opposition a headstart in matches.
“We should give credit to Ole,” he added. “When we lose, people attack Ole, but what a great change. Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford running behind the defence, they make the difference, also Mata and Paul came alive.
“Cavani wasn’t having a good game. Van de Beek wasn’t having a good game, he made quick changes and we won.
“I don’t want this team to react, I want them to act, but after that awful first half, [getting] four consecutive wins it’s all positive for United – but when you always have to come back you know something is wrong.”