And just when it seemed that the storm is starting to die down just a little bit, something happens to set the whole situation ablaze once again. Paul Pogba has been one of Real Madrid’s not so secret wishes for the entirety of this summer.
Not only that but the saga of Pogba’s potential departure from Manchester United and his jump to the Galacticos’ embrace has now truly become a story of old; something that we’re already getting used to hearing, and it is less of a surprise every time we do.
But once the transfer window in the Premier League closed shut with Pogba still very much a Red Devil and Ed Woodward without any real big-name signings to compensate for that potential departure of the Frenchman, the story pretty much seemed finished. And now, there just might be an additional chapter there to be explored.
Pogba’s brother, Mathias, recently talked to the Madrid media, discussing how his brother might fit Real Madrid’s setup. Whether those comments could indicate something more solid than just words remains to be seen but they have coincided with claims the Frenchman is the only midfielder Zidane is interested in bringing in this summer.
Chasing Pogba at this stage, however, would not really be a good move for Perez and co.
Ever since Zidane returned back to take over the team once again, they have experienced mixed results. After a disastrous pre-season and a rather weak finish to the 2018/19 campaign, the first couple of bouts in the 2019/20 season saw some slight improvements.
And one thing that seems somewhat resolved is the turmoil in the locker room. At least that’s how it looks like from the surface and what the club is giving to the public so far. Of course, when we say turmoil, it refers to the squabbles within the squad, particularly between Zidane and his beloved Gareth Bale.
Watch Spanish Football Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv Below
A similar thing could also be said for Pogba but there have been certain situations before that sparked some tension. Do Real Madrid actually need another potential “rebel” in the ranks?
This mentality issue can arguably be solved with the right leadership and would potentially disappear altogether if Pogba felt good about the transfer and his surroundings but those things cannot really be guaranteed right from the bat.
Looking strictly from a sporting point of view, however, things also get a little more complicated. While Pogba is a great asset offensively and offers a lot of creativity in his area with 13 goals and nine assists in the Premier League last season, he also lacks the defensive prowess Real Madrid’s midfielders need in order for the team to function as stably as possible.
Taking a note from last season’s stats – just 1.3 tackles and 0.5 interceptions per game – it might become a bit clearer as to why one would assume that, especially compared to some of the top players in the Premier League who offer a similar output offensively but also do a fair share of the defensive work. The likes of Tanguy Ndombele (2.4 tackles, 1.5 interceptions) or Bernardo Silva (1.4 tackles, 0.7 interceptions) are similarly creative and yet offer more off the ball.
Granted, at this point it would be a stretch to assume Pogba would absolutely not accept such duties if he was to be purchased by Real Madrid but just by purely looking at his past ventures with Manchester United, it seems at the very least that he’s not best suited to them. The Frenchman is simply better used when allowed to participate in the attacking spectres of the game.
While it is fairly understandable that some players simply excel at different things and one could say defending is not one of Pogba’s biggest strengths, this still comes down to Real Madrid’s choosing of the right target. Real Madrid conceded 46 times in La Liga last season – more goals than 13th-placed Leganes – so should they really be looking to throw an offensive player into the engine room?
Pogba not being a perfect defensive player is fine but should he then be chased in a transfer that could potentially cost a lot of money, given his estimated value of £90m and his reputation? With the transfer window about to close, the best thing Real Madrid can do is move on from the French powerhouse and consider alternative targets for when January comes around.