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Is he worth the hype? The best Pogba stats ahead of Man United return

Paul Pogba is to undergo a medical with Manchester United to finalise a transfer from Juventus.

France midfielder Pogba is poised to return to Old Trafford for a transfer free that could eventually rise to over £100m.

Here, with the help of Opta data, we take a look at Pogba’s Juve career in numbers to see if he really lives up to the hype.

UP THERE WITH THE BEST?

So, how does Pogba compare with Europe’s best central midfielders?

We compared Pogba’s statistics with Koke, Cesc Fabregas, Toni Kroos, Andres Iniesta, Yaya Toure, Luka Modric and Miralem Pjanic from matches played in all club competitions over the last four years.

Pogba fared well as a goalscorer from midfield, but less impressively as a creative force.

GOALS

54 – Yaya Toure (176 games)
38 – Cesc Fabregas (199 games)
34 – Paul Pogba (178 games)
27 – Miralem Pjanic (154 games)
19 – Koke (206 games)
16 – Toni Kroos (187 games)
13 – Andres Iniesta (186 games)
10 – Luka Modric (173 games)

ASSISTS

57 – Cesc Fabregas (199 games)
57 – Koke (206 games)
41 – Toni Kroos (187 games)
40 – Andres Iniesta (186 games)
36 – Miralem Pjanic (154 games)
32 – Paul Pogba (178 games)
26 – Yaya Toure (176 games)
22 –  Luka Modric (173 games)

SERIE A’S MIDFIELD MAESTROS

Pogba quickly established himself as an integral part of the Juve engine room after joining in 2012, with Antonio Conte putting faith in the midfielder who found chances limited during his first spell at United. 

He may have claimed four straight Scudetti since his arrival, but in the same timeframe his replacement in Turin, Miralem Pjanic, and Napoli’s Marek Hamsik have had a hand in more league goals from midfield for their respective teams.

71 (31 goals + 40 assists) – Marek Hamsik
57 (24+33) – Miralem Pjanic
50 (28+22) – Paul Pogba
45 (28+17) – Arturo Vidal (*Only played in three of the four Serie A seasons)

There were 15 players who created more Serie A chances than Pobga during the 2015-16 season, with Hamsik and Pjanic right at the top.

94 – Marek Hamsik
80 – Miralem Pjanic
77 – Borja Valero
54 – Paul Pogba (15th overall)

Among Juve’s players, though, only Paulo Dybala was a more creative force.

73 – Paulo Dybala
54 – Paul Pogba
44 – Juan Cuadrado

A GROWING ATTACKING FORCE

Pogba’s power, pace and technical ability make him a truly formidable opponent. In four Serie A seasons in Italy he has become more of an offensive threat.

His assist numbers only dropped in the 2014-15 campaign when a hamstring injury ruled him out for close to two months.

2012-13 – 27 games, 5 goals, 0 assists 
2013-14 – 36 games, 7 goals, 7 assists
2014-15 – 26 games, 8 goals, 3 assists 
2015-16 – 35 games, 8 goals, 12 assists

In 2015-16, Pogba was joint-top of the league’s assist charts along with his eventual Juve replacement Pjanic.

12 – Miralem Pjanic
12 – Paul Pogba
11 – Riccardo Saponara
11 – Marek Hamsik

HUGE JUVE INFLUENCE

As well as his eight goals and 12 assists in Serie A, Pogba was central to Juve’s general play, with only Leonardo Bonucci recording more touches than him.

2717 – Leonardo Bonucci
2566 – Paul Pogba
2237 – Andrea Barzagli
1822 – Paulo Dybala

He also comfortably won more tackles than any of his club team-mates.

55 – Paul Pogba
40 – Patrice Evra
35 – Claudio Marchisio 

The France midfielder is a big force in the air, winning 63 aerial duels over the league campaign – with only striker Mario Mandzukic bettering that at his club.

65 – Mario Mandzukic
63 – Paul Pogba
48 – Leonardo Bonucci

DISCIPLINE A CONCERN

Pogba’s impact winning tackles does have a negative effect, though. He was booked on 10 occasions in Serie A last season, comfortably Juve’s highest total.

10 – Paul Pogba
8  – Claudio Marchisio 
6 – Five players

He also conceded the most fouls in Juve’s title-winning campaign.

87 – Paul Pogba
52 – Mario Mandzukic
42 – Alvaro Morata

In the whole of Serie A, only Franco Vazquez – then of Palermo – committed more fouls.

121 – Franco Vazquez
87 – Paul Pogba
77 – Marten de Roon

EUROPEAN DROP OFF?

While Pogba’s domestic stats are largely impressive, his record in Europe his not as spectacular.

In 40 Champions League and Europa League matches, Pogba has only scored three goals and picked up six assists.

In those appearances he created 39 chances for his team-mates – a rate of under one per game, which is lower than in his most recent three Serie A seasons.

Sun 7 Aug, 2016
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