Paul Pogba was like NBA champion LeBron James and sprint star Usain Bolt for Juventus, according to Giorgio Chiellini.
Pogba spent four years in Turin and won four successive Scudettos before he rejoined Manchester United in a world-record transfer at the start of the season.
And Pogba has been compared to James and Bolt as Italian defender Chiellini lamented the absence of the 23-year-old at Juve following Sunday’s shock 2-1 Serie A loss to Fiorentina.
“We’ve changed players and now we are a side like any other,” Chiellini told Sky Sport Italia.
“We’re not used to losing and, in addition to this, we’ve lost a player like Pogba who was the LeBron James of football and, even when you didn’t notice him, he was impressive.
“Pogba was our Usain Bolt. He allowed us to play in a certain way. Now we’ve changed. We’re working on it and [Massimiliano] Allegri is not an idiot.”
Defending champions Juve are a point clear atop the table with a game in hand over Roma.
Pogba has scored four goals and tallied three assists as United sit sixth in the Premier League, 12 points adrift of leaders Chelsea.