Paul Pogba returned to Manchester United for his second stint back in 2016 amidst much hype and media attention. Over the course of his stay at Old Trafford, he has often managed to hog the limelight, sometimes through his actions on the pitch and sometimes via his antics off it.
From being the beloved signing of former manager Jose Mourinho to becoming the primary cause of the Portuguese’s discontent, Pogba has come a long way at his childhood club.
The 27-year-old courted yet another controversy in June when he said that he was thinking of a new challenge away from Manchester United, with Juventus and Real Madrid linked with the Frenchman. Although Mourinho’s successor, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done well to divert some of the attention away from the player, the rumour mills are going to run wild once the summer transfer window opens.
So, here are a few reasons why Manchester United should reconsider their options of keeping Paul Pogba beyond the upcoming transfer window.
#1 The rotten apple
Paul Pogba has come under criticism from a number of former Manchester United players and Sir Alex Ferguson, who famously criticised the Frenchman’s agent Mino Raiola following the player’s move to Juventus back in 2012. Former Red Devil Darren Fletcher went on to highlight the inconsistencies in the World Cup winner’s game.
“Pogba would have one great game, one average game and one anonymous game.”Darren Fletcher
Fletcher’s words have been proven true time and again even after Paul Pogba’s return to Manchester United. His inconsistent form has contributed to the team’s downfall during Jose Mourinho’s regime. His training ground altercations with the Portuguese tactician even escalated the tension within the dressing room.
As a result, the Red Devils struggled to maintain a positive momentum, eventually leading to his sacking.
Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Pogba has become a peripheral figure and the recurring injuries haven’t helped his cause. Pogba, in fact, has managed just seven Premier League appearances this season with an ankle injury preventing him from further involvement.
#2 The arrival of Bruno Fernandes
Solskjaer secured the signing of Portuguese international Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon in January, with the player putting pen-to-paper on a five-and-a-half-year contract at Manchester United. Fernandes performs more or less a similar kind of role as Paul Pogba. He takes up the responsibility of making the others in front of him play freely, while he on his part, takes control of proceedings at the heart of the midfield.
There has been a significant improvement in Manchester United’s form since the 25-year-old’s arrival. The Red Devils are in fact yet to lose a single match since the end of January, winning six and drawing three of the nine games they have played since then.
Pogba doesn’t look like the player who can complement Fernandes on the pitch and therefore, Solskjaer can afford the luxury of letting the club’s record signing go.
With a certain pattern becoming evident with regards to the club’s transfer approach in the summer, suggestions are that they will look to add another midfielder to compliment Fernandes in the middle of the pitch, which means that Pogba’s time at the club might as well be over.
#3 The need to ease the pressure on Manchester United’s wage budget
Paul Pogba is currently the second-highest-paid player at Old Trafford after David de Gea. He currently draws £290,000 a week, which for a player who has played just eight games across all competitions this season is significantly high.
The current financial meltdown is certainly going to have an impact on the transfer market. Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has already warned the supporters that the club won’t be able to invest heavily at the end of the season, owing to the financial difficulties.
And given that proclamation, the Premier League giants will probably do a commendable job if they manage to get one of the highest-paid players off their books.
In spite of Pogba’s recent troubles with injuries, there will be no lack of possible suitors if the player is made available. A return to Juventus has not been ruled out while Real Madrid have also expressed their interest.
At the age of 27, Pogba still certainly has a lot left in him to offer. However, it seems he doesn’t have a future at Manchester United or in any other club in England. The physicality of the league has troubled many star players in the past and the Frenchman shouldn’t feel too disheartened. Hopefully, a move away from Old Trafford will be beneficial for both the parties involved.
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