Manchester United star Paul Pogba urged to stay at Old Trafford by Juan Mata

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…

Speaking to Sky Sports, Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has urged his fellow teammate Paul Pogba to stay at Old Trafford this summer amid speculation of a move away for the Frenchman.

What did he say?

Reports in recent weeks have suggested that Pogba could be on his way out of Old Trafford following comments from the France World Cup winner that he wanted a “new challenge“.

However, despite the transfer deadline approaching in less than a month, no offers have seemingly been made for the midfielder and Mata has now urged his teammate to stay and praised his influence in the dressing room.

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He said: “We all know Paul and he is a fantastic midfielder, and a very good guy, very positive, and a good influence for everyone.

“I think he is happy and brings everyone together, but I cannot speak for other people – I speak for myself. As a team-mate and a friend I would like him to stay and be happy because he is a very good player for us.”

The soul of the party

As Mata suggests, Pogba’s expressive personality certainly sees the midfielder wear his heart on his sleeve. When things are going well the 26-year-old’s flamboyance can be an endearing trait, but when things aren’t going so well, it can lead to heavy criticism.

Reports had even suggested that whilst Pogba was not an unpopular member of the dressing room, the transfer saga surrounding him had seemingly convinced his teammates that it would be for the best if he were to leave Old Trafford this summer.

If reported suitors Real Madrid fail to entice United into selling him, then Pogba’s footballing qualities could see him remain an integral part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side; indeed, the Norwegian even insisted that he was still looking to build his side around the Frenchman despite the links of a move away.

Mata’s comment that Pogba is a “good influence for everyone” is certainly enlightening in terms of the supposed narrative of him being a disruptive presence in the squad. If Pogba does end up staying, then he could well sweep all of the drama of this summer under the carpet and get back to his old self once again.

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