Paul Pogba is preparing to make his first appearance for Manchester United since signing for a world record £92.5m transfer fee against Southampton on Friday night at Old Trafford, and says he expects a more physical challenge than the one he experienced in Italy.
Pogba has played in the Premier League in his previous spell with United, making three subsitute appearances before leaving to join Juventus in 2012.
Pogba acknowledges he is a different footballer now and the Premier League has also evolved.
Asked how he might adapt to the demands of the Premier League, the Frenchman said: “I will see in my first game, my first feelings. I know that you have more space than in Italy so I’ll just try to find the space to run – without the ball too. And with the ball it’s more physical so you have to kick players.
“The referee will just say: ‘Play on.’ I remember some things. We will see the first feelings. I’m ready to play everywhere in the midfield and I’ll just follow the coach where he tells me to play.”
Pogba says has enjoyed training alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his former United team-mate Wayne Rooney.
The Frenchman said: “Zlatan is the big brother of everyone, he is relaxed, makes joke and on the pitch he is a winner so he will really help the team, with Wazza [Wayne Rooney]. I think he is the oldest in the team and Zlatan is the oldest in the team too, so those two will help the team a lot.”
Pogba departed for Juventus because United were unwilling to match his wage demands, but Pogba says that is all now water under the bridge and he is delighted to back with the club.
“Maybe not a lot of people can understand it [his return],” he said. “They say: ‘He left and they did this to him, blah, blah, blah.’ But I’m very happy. Even when I left United I never hated Manchester United, I never hated the city. I’m very happy to come back and wear the shirt again.
“I just play football, I’m happy to play football. I don’t think about all this [transfer fee] because it’s already happened. It’s behind me.”
Pogba also said he was fit to start, though United manager José Mourinho has suggested he may not play all of the game.
Mourinho also cautioned against expecting too much from a player who is making his full debut for United.
“I see him very calm,” Mourinho said. “I see him very comfortable in this role of a star player and feeling very well under that skin. I don’t see him under pressure, I don’t see him in training trying to do things to show that he’s different, to show that he’s better.
“I think his impact will be something very natural, something that maybe for your eyes will not be an ‘impact’ but in my eyes will be a progressive impact of contribution. I’m not expecting, the first time he touches the ball, to see him dribble past five guys and score a wonder goal. I expect the first time he touches the ball to see him make a correct pass, a good selection of passes, a good choice, a good simple execution and [make] the game fluid because he’s a super football player.”