Paul Pogba has been heavily linked with a move away from Man Utd this summer, but should he leave Old Trafford?
Despite his undenying talent, the Frenchman, 26, has struggled during his time in Manchester.
There’s multiple reasons for this, and it’s time he ditches his boyhood club once and for all.
To put it simply, Pogba is too big for Man Utd. In 2008, they had stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez, Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. If one of these stars had a bad game, it didn’t matter because the others would show up and perform more often that not.
But nowadays, the Red Devils only have a couple of players on that level – Paul Pogba and David De Gea. Even if both of them have a great game, it doesn’t guarantee the team a win. There’s nine other players on the pitch who might fluff their lines.
So this United team are too reliant on Paul Pogba. You’ve got Alexis Sanchez who scored one goal all season in the Premier League. Earning £500,000 per week or £26m a year, that means he’s costing the club £26m per goal! Pogba also earns a hefty wage of £290,000 a week, but that’s barely half what the Chilean takes home. Besides, the World Cup winner at least somewhat deserves his money.
Even one of United’s better players this season – Marcus Rashford – only managed 10 Premier League goals. Pogba grabbed 13 from midfield, while he also picked up 9 Premier League assists, meaning the 26-year-old was directly involved in 22 goals this season – 5 more than any of his teammates.
Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku contributed to 9 less goals than the midfielder, and the Belgian cost the club £75m. Yet he doesn’t receive nearly the same level of criticism.
Because people find the Frenchman fascinating. Yes, he’s extremely talented, and people know he’s capable of scoring 20 goals a season from midfield. But even people who’ve done this in the past – Frank Lampard, Yaya Touré, etc – haven’t received nearly the same media-heavy focus as Pogba. It’s his drastic weekly haircut changes, his vibrant personality and his confidence that all make him such a media presence. I wouldn’t be writing this article if I didn’t find him interesting. So in a sense, all the criticism he gets is actually a massive compliment to him.
But why stick up for Pogba? I get it. He has various flaws. For one, he almost never shows up in the big games. He failed to find the back of the net against a single top six side last season, and only scored against Young Boys in the Champions League.
You might argue against this by claiming his strength is creating goals. But he managed just one assist against a top six team all season, and just one in Europe. Again, this was against Young Boys.
So in the big games, there are no excuses. He just hasn’t been good enough. But my point is that he would perform better in a team full of stars – not just him. And he’s already proven it, both with Juventus and the French national side.
When he played in Turin he had players around him like Carlos Tevez, Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Gianluigi Buffon. Likewise, for France, Pogba plays with Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, N’Golo Kanté, Raphaël Varane and Hugo Lloris. He doesn’t have the same pressure to perform in every game, which allows him to play better. And then even if he doesn’t play so well, it usually doesn’t matter because the team almost always wins anyway.
So why does Pogba need to leave United?
In short, Pogba needs to leave the 20-time Champions of England because he can’t do it all by himself. He cannot carry a team to a Premier League title or a European crown.
By returning to Italy to join a team with world-class players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, he would fit in perfectly. Likewise, at Real Madrid he’d be joining fellow superstars including Eden Hazard, Gareth Bale and Luka Modric.