Replacing some of Manchester United’s ageing stars has been the topic of much debate for the past few seasons. Every time a transfer window comes around a left winger is linked with Old Trafford to replace Ryan Giggs, and the new Paul Scholes is apparently being lined up, before they both decide to just give it one more year. But sooner or later Sir Alex Ferguson will need to put his hand in the Glazer’s pocket and fork out for some new players. Or does he? Fergie has always put a lot of faith in his youngsters and may opt to go with the latest prodigy to be causing a stir around Manchester. Introducing Paul Pogba – the new Paul Scholes?
The Frenchman has a long way to go, but he is doing very little wrong in his attempts to impress the United manager. His style has been likened to that of Patrick Vieira but with better dribbling skills. As everyone keeps saying as well, the 17-year-old also has a ‘penchant for a screamer’ – there are plenty of videos on the internet. But it’s not just his ability to net from 30 yards that has got people talking. There is a real buzz around Old Trafford about the boy who has recently found himself on the bench for the first team against Crawley Town. If their performance wasn’t so disjointed, we could have seen him in action first hand (taking nothing away from the non-league side, that is).
It would take some time for Pogba to make the step-up, but then again, it’s not in Ferguson’s nature to throw him in at the deep end. If Scholes decides to once again delay his inevitable retirement, Pogba could spend another season going unnoticed, plying his trade in the reserves or even out on loan. The Frenchman has already been registered as a senior player this season, so his manager clearly rates him. But as long as the likes of Scholes sticks around for a little longer, Pogba doesn’t have to be but under the spotlight straight away. He can be bedded in slowly.
His performances for the youth side have been exceptional and it won’t be long before we are seeing the midfielder coming off the bench to gain some first team experience. Gary Neville has recently moved to talk up his talents claiming there wasn’t a youth team around with a better central midfield. It’s the biggest compliment of all for a footballer to be praised by a fellow pro, so Neville’s words and his promotion to the senior squad must tell Pogba but he’s doing something right.
Ferguson is no stranger to bringing in big names to Old Trafford if he feels it’s the right signing. But with every central midfielder around Europe now being linked with replacing the sometime-soon outbound Paul Scholes, the United manager may think twice before opening his cheque book once again. He may have the ideal replacement right under his nose.
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