Nowadays, I don’t think you can really discuss anything about Manchester United without mentioning Paul Pogba.
If this is your first time checking out the content here at Ultra United, then firstly, Welcome! I hope you’re having a wonderful day, and that the powers above are blessing your life on a regular basis … I mean, they must be doing so because you’re here aren’t you? So … there we go!
But more to the point, if this you are losing your Ultra-ginity today, then you might not be aware of my allegiance to Manchester United. Nevertheless, I seek to be as impartial as possible – to give a well-rounded view of the events at hand rather than allowing my love for the club to dictate how I feel about whatever is going on. You understand what I’m saying? Good! So, with that sorted, let’s talk about Paul Pogba and, most importantly, what I think the next steps should be regarding his time at Old Trafford.
I’m going to be honest with you and I expect you to be honest with me. Now, when Paul Pogba signed, just admit that you thought that this was a good piece of business. There were people who were saying that the £80 million fee was a bit much – especially when you consider that we let the kid go away on a free about four years ago because we didn’t think he was good enough back then. So, you could see this as losing a hefty sum on a player we could have kept but, at the end of the day, this is Manchester United we’re talking about – they could have found that amount down the sofa.
As a player, his signing was meant to represent a brand new resurgence for the club, who were struggling to find their way in a post-Fergie era. Before him, United tried signing ‘big-name’ players without any idea of what the long-term goal was for their involvement. In Pogba, they had somebody who was in-demand, very talented and with a very long shelf-life. But the problem was that the club did not back up his enviable qualities with a good-enough team to supplement his ability.
They brought in Ibrahimovic who was only going to stay in Manchester on holiday and now, around four years after his arrival, have we finally started to develop into a style in which Pogba has the players around him to maximise his potential at the club, but has it come all too late? Personally, I think it has, and for a number of reasons.
Firstly, having been played out of position for the majority of his United career, it’s difficult to understand where Pogba’s inability to influence the game is more down to his deployment of personal attributes. After all, though he might not be able to get forward as much as he likes, it doesn’t stop him transitioning the play quickly, increasing the tempo of the press and aiding the team in their attacking movement. So, I think that this argument falls down pretty quickly.
Next, the midfield at the club has improved significantly since his signing. Of course, I’m referring to the signings of Fred, Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek. Fred might not be a top-notch all-round midfielder, but works incredibly hard in the middle of the park to accommodate for his more creative team-mates – as does Scott McTominay. Donny van de Beek is showing some glimpses of his quality and will be sure to realise this in the role he’s been given (i.e. the same as Paul Pogba’s role at the moment), and Bruno Fernandes … is just Bruno Fernandes!
And the biggest issue surrounding Paul Pogba’s time at United is his talkative agent – who has come out many times to voice his client’s displeasure of having to play for the club, and seems hell-bent on getting him out of there in January or the Summer than he is to improve his situation in Manchester. All in all, Pogba is and will always go down as a good player for United, but hasn’t hit the heights we’ve expected. And personally, given out depth in quality in his area and where the money from his sale can be spent, he isn’t worth the aggravation of keeping.