Paul Pogba is a show-off but a nice guy too, says Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucouré

• Midfielder says former teammate ‘has a big personality’
• Fellow Frenchman denies Watford are the new Leicester

The Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucouré has labelled Paul Pogba a “show-off” as he prepares to come up against his former international teammate against Manchester United.

“I played with him since the under-16s,” said the Frenchman, who represented his country at every level up to under-21s but is yet to win a full cap. “Physically even then he was the same like today because he was in advance of everyone. He was the same person as he is now. He liked to show off a little bit but he’s a very nice guy.

“He was always very natural but of course he’s a superstar now. But he’s always the same. He liked to laugh, to talk. He has a big personality. He had the [confidence] because he was good on the pitch as well. To show off, it’s good sometimes.”

Watford, with a 100% record after four games, have double United’s points tally, with José Mourinho’s side appearing at times this season to be teetering on the brink of a crisis. “If they are a little bit in trouble we have to take our chance to win the game,” Doucouré said. “I knew Paul for a long time and it’s always great to play against him, but I want to be better than him on the pitch. I want to win the battle in midfield and to win the game.”

The 25-year-old has not given up hope of joining Pogba in the senior France side. “Of course it’s one of my dreams to have a call-up,” he said. “I think I have to be very good on the pitch and of course Watford have to be at the top as well to have more visibility for me. I can have a call-up this year.”

The Fiver: Sign up for our free daily football email.

Despite Watford confounding the bookmakers to sit third in the league Doucouré dismissed the possibility of Watford emulating the Leicester side of 2015-16 and winning it. “Everything can change very quickly,” he said. “There are very strong teams with very strong squads and it’s hard to compete against them. We can win against anyone but we are not the new Leicester.”