Football’s worst kept secret and perhaps the dullest, drawn out saga of the summer maybe set to reach a conclusion very shortly to everyone’s relief.
A figure of £112m, which has been reported by various outlets, has been rightly derided by many, including ex-United players, as the French midfielder looks likely to return to a club that let him go for nothing years ago.
A lot has changed in the life of Paul Pogba since then and the player is about to find a media circus upon him in, wanted or not.
There are many United fans who will be delighted the French midfielder looks set to be turning out at Old Trafford, whilst others will argue that this transfer shows just how much common sense has disappeared from the transfer market.
We look at both sides of the argument in what is certain to be the most high profile move of the summer…
Potential: There can be no doubting that the 23-year-old has the ability to go on and become one of the worlds top players, and seems ideally built for the unique demands of The Premier League. A return of 16 assists and 10 goals in 49 appearances for Juventus last season, demonstrates the leggy midfielders ability to find the net and create. Any of the top teams in Europe would take Pogba in their squad and for a player that seems like he’s still finding his best position, the signs look good.
Positions: Central and left side midfield were the two positions that Pogba occupied in his time in Turin, with much distinction. Under Massimo Allegri, he played in both a holding and advanced role at different times, based on the requirements if the team. Such versatility will surely be an asset to Mourinho, who will set-up based in the requirements of each game.
Commercial value: Make no mistake, United’s commercial machine will go into overdrive to make Pogba a superstar. Shirt sales, ads, endorsement deals will all be a feature if this deal as The Old Trafford club look to get the best value for money out the deal. Mino Raiola must be sweating at the thought.
The Fee: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out this one. Whilst Pogba is immensely talented a total fee of £112 Million all-in seems nigh on impossible to justify. Looking at the most expensive transfers to date – Higuain, Bale, Ronaldo – the one thing all this players guaranteed was goals by the bucketload. Pogba could even be utilised by Mourinho in a holding role, so a 20-goal season isn’t beckoning. Even the most die-hard United fans won’t argue with this point.
Not United’s Main Concern: Most Red Devils were asleep by half-time as they became used to the monotony of a 0-0 half time score under Van Gaal. ‘Attack,Attack,Attack’ they cried, desperate to see a creative player light up their afternoon. If we’re shopping for French midfielders then surely Dmitri Payet should have been the first port of call to fill that role? For all his talents, eye of the needle passes and beating defenders doesn’t really appear on Pogba’s resume.
Unproven In Premier League: A charge that could be levelled at many a player whose gone on to become a resounding success. None the less, Fergie believed it was worth the risk letting the player walk out of Carrington and it’s been in a lower standard Serie A that Pogba has made a name. There’s a temptation to mention cold nights in Staffordshire, but that would just be lazy.
If United win the league, all this will be forgotten as no club could argue they’ve bought it as home grown quotas continue to decline. An unsuccessful season and opposition fans will revel in the ‘How Much’ questions.
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