Finally, the Euro is over. Now a long wait for the new season to begin. This interim phase is quite frustrating for the football fans; weekends are dull and boring and keeping tabs on the latest transfer rumours remains the only vocation.
For the past 2-3 weeks, one particular transfer story is dominating the headlines in the media. It has sent a brouhaha across Europe – ‘will Paul Pogba join United?’ – is the question that is being asked across all media platforms.
There is always an added euphoria (among the fans mostly) when it comes to Manchester United transfer activities but this summer promises to be extra special. Why? Simply, because of the presence of the Special One at Old Trafford. With him, the expectations are always high.
So far, United have done extremely well in the transfer market. Eric Bailly is a talented young player who will add quality to the defence. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was outstanding last season for Dortmund and he will bring another dimension to the United attacking lineup. Plus, there is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a world class striker who in his own admission is getting better with age.
It can still get better if United manage to bring Pogba back to the club which he left four years ago. Without going into the transfer details, one thing is pretty clear: United are genuinely interested in bringing him back to Old Trafford and are ready to break the bank for his signature. United will be a force to reckon with once again should Pogba join them. Here’s why:
World class talent
Midfield is one area where United need to invest heavily. Last summer the club signed Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin but none of them had made a lasting impression. Schweinsteiger struggled mostly with injuries while Schneiderlin looked out-of-depth at Old Trafford. And judging by the media reports, it seems like Mourinho wants to shake up the midfield completely. In that case, either of them or both could be sold. Michael Carrick is a senior player at the club but he is fast approaching the apogee of his career. United need a top quality midfielder. That’s why they need Pogba because Pogba is world class.
Pogba left Old Trafford in 2012 on a free transfer to Juventus after making only seven substitute appearances under Sir Alex Ferguson. However, he has taken his game to a new level altogether, during his stay in Turin. He has played an integral role in Juventus’ undisputed authority in Serie A over the past four years, and on the individual front has won Golden Boy award and made it to the FIFA FIFPro World XI and UEFA Team of the Year in 2015.
He is only 23 and already playing at a top level. It’s frightening to think how far can he go in the next 5-6 years should he continue to develop at this rate. Pogba has not reached the peak of his career yet, in fact, he is some way off it, but even at this level, he is head and shoulders above midfielders of his age. United should make the best use of Pogba’s youth and exuberance. He could be a long-term asset for the club.
A complete package
Usually a box-to-box type; Pogba is a complete midfielder. He possesses an excellent passing range and crossing ability; at the same time tactically disciplined and technically very smart. The best thing about his game is his versatility. In Euro 2016, we saw Pogba performing various roles in midfield – attacking, anchoring and defensive duties – and he does everything so efficiently.
At one hand he will bring steel and grit in the midfield with his strong physical presence and aggressive mentality while flair and discipline on the other with his excellent technical abilities and positional awareness.
Experience, match winner and winning mentality
One of the admirable traits of Jose Mourinho is his insatiable hunger for success. He brings a winning mentality to the side. The same thing can be found in Pogba as well. The way he carries himself on the pitch gives an impression of a natural leader. And he commands the respect of other players because he leads by example.
At such a young age, he is already the winner of four consecutive Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia and two Supercopa Italian trophy. He also finished runners-up in the Champions League final in 2014/15 after Juventus lost to Barcelona.
He is also an integral part of the French national team set up and picked up the runners-up medal in Euro 2016 after France lost 1-0 to Portugal in the final. Thus he is experienced enough to handle the pressure and expectations of playing for Manchester United and will bring a winning mentality to his old club.
Manchester United have never paid anything over £50m for any player in their history, let alone £100m. In that respect, the price may seem inflated but for once they can make an exception for Pogba. He is that special.