I'd pick Jordan Henderson over Paul Pogba, says Paul Merson
Last Updated: 17/10/16 8:03pm
Ahead of Liverpool versus Manchester United, Paul Merson says he would rather have Jordan Henderson in his team than Paul Pogba on current form.
One of the fiercest rivalries in football ignites for the 2016/17 season on Monday Night Football as Liverpool and Manchester United meet at Anfield.
Liverpool captain Henderson has enjoyed a fine individual start to the Premier League campaign, winning the goal of the month award for a sumptuous strike against Chelsea and recently skippered England in the 0-0 draw with Slovenia in their 2018 World Cup Qualifier.
Meanwhile, Pogba, who returned to Old Trafford in a £93.25m world-record switch this summer, has been asked to curb his more attacking instincts in the current United set-up and has struggled to make a major impact.
Merson, who has tipped Liverpool to win 3-1 on Monday, admitted he has been disappointed with Pogba's contribution and would rather have Henderson in his team.
When asked who he'd pick, he said on Soccer Saturday's Super 6 Facebook Live: "Today, Jordan Henderson.
"Over the next 10 years, I don't know - it probably should be Pogba considering how much money they spent. Henderson has been as good as anybody in the Premier League. Credit where credit is due, he's been outstanding. Pogba has been struggling."
Wayne Rooney has endured a miserable few weeks for club and country as has found himself relegated to the substitutes' bench.
Rooney has not started for United since their 3-1 defeat to Watford on September 18, but Merson believes the 30-year-old should start at Anfield in order to take the pressure off Pogba.
"I would play Rooney in this game," he added. "Jesse Lingard has just played two international football matches - that can be very draining. He's a young lad. If you put Rooney in this game it would take a lot of pressure off Pogba.
"If Rooney's on the bench, then all eyes are on Pogba. For all that money, he hasn't performed yet. He's been nowhere near any good. If Manchester United lose, then he'll come in for some big criticism."
Manchester United kicked off their league campaign this season with three straight wins under Jose Mourinho, but slumped to back-to-back defeats against Manchester City and Watford.
They are currently in sixth place in the Premier League with 13 points after seven matches and Merson hasn't been impressed with Mourinho's start to life in Manchester.
"I'd give him 5/10 - it's been middle of the road," he added. "Last week [against Stoke] Mourinho said it was the best they've played - but only for 20 minutes.
"They should have been out of sight and won 7-0. But after they scored, they didn't look like scoring. It fizzled out. They haven't been great. I still don't think Mourinho knows what his best team is going to be."