Milinkovic-Savic can soften the blow of losing Pogba this summer

This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more… 

Reports in recent days and weeks have suggested that Paul Pogba could be on his way out of Manchester United this summer following a season of underwhelming performances and fractured relationships.

But when one door closes, another door opens. For United, watching the Frenchman leave the club for a second time around could see long-term target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic finally come in.

On the chalkboard

According to SportMediaSet, Milinkovic-Savic is just a “step away” from signing for the Red Devils and the Serbian could double his wages at the club. The 24-year-old has long been heralded as one of Serie A’s finest midfielders in his time at Lazio and it is easy to see why.

Standing at 6 ft 3 in, the central midfielder has all the traits you would expect from a player of his size. Strong, powerful and a difficult man to stop once in his stride, it is Milinkovic-Savic’s work with the ball that makes him such an exciting prospect for United to replace Pogba with.

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In potentially losing Pogba, the Red Devils stand to miss a man who scored 16 goals and provided 11 assists last season. The France World Cup winner is an undeniable goal threat, but Milinkovic-Savic’s signing would go a long way in addressing some of the goals and assists they would lose.

The Serbia international struck seven times last season in a rather underwhelming campaign; but the year before – when he truly showed the world what he was capable of – he managed 14 goals and a further seven assists. If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer persists with a three-man midfield for next season, the Lazio star can no doubt offset some of the attacking threat they would potentially miss out on with Pogba’s exit.

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Indeed, the midfielder’s agent, Mateja Kezman, said back in March 2018: “When Sergej came to Italy, he was compared with Pogba. I do really respect Pogba, but I think now Sergej has different and better quality than Pogba. Over the last six months, he has made enormous progress at Lazio.

“He has remarkable attributes and you’ll not find another player in the world with that power, muscular structure and height combined with technique and tactical awareness. If he retains his health, he can become the most complete player on the planet.”

So whilst United fans might initially despair over Pogba’s possible departure, Milinkovic-Savic could certainly fit into those massive boots – both literally, and on the pitch too.