Why Is Paul Pogba a Shadow of His France Form in Manchester United?

Published 07/22/2021, 2:33 PM EDT


Manchester United star Paul Pogba has been an enigma for the fans of the club. The charismatic midfielder has won the World Cup with his nation of France, and on the other hand, United has failed to win any major trophies since the past 8 years.

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The departure of Sir Alex Ferguson might be one of the biggest setbacks the club had ever suffered. Still, their transfer strategy and management choices after that just made sure that the club was falling into the same pitfalls clubs like Newcastle and Blackburn Rovers did. United still is one of the richest clubs in the world. The club has the finances to buy the players the manager needs, and the signing of Paul Pogba was proof of it.

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Manchester United let Paul Pogba leave the club on a free transfer after the French midfielder’s contract expired in 2012. Pogba joined Juventus and was an instant hit at the Italian club. He quickly became one of the best midfielders globally, and United repurchased him in 2016 for a then world-record fee of 105 million Euros.

His arrival instantly made a difference as United won the Europa League. However, things weren’t so good domestically as Pogba was criticized for his output and lackadaisical positioning. This trend continued in the seasons that came along as Pogba kept putting in amazing performances sporadically and was invisible in others.

On the other hand, Pogba was one of the best players for France. His creativity and influence helped France win the world cup as he was one of the best players in the tournament. That same season, Jose Mourinho was starting young United academy graduate Scott McTominay over Pogba.

Paul Pogba and his relationship with Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer

Pogba was reinvigorated after the departure of Jose Mourinho. The arrival of Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer coincided with Pogba hitting his best form in a United shirt. However, it only lasted for a few games as his form dipped in the last 12 games of the season.

Paul Pogba did see an upturn in form last season after he came back from injury. Ole played him on the left wing, and the creative freedom helped Pogba express himself. This did bring some questions into fans’ minds who always wondered whether the Frenchman could be a good fit at CDM.

However, the fact of the matter is that Pogba is one of the best midfielders on the planet. If he is given adequate space, he can change games in seconds. Ngolo Kante is a huge reason why Pogba is so successful for France, as the CDM’s high work rate allows Pogba to roam. He was similarly successful at United on the wing, and his goal-contribution was up.

Paul Pogba’s links with PSG

Perhaps the most disconcerting fact for United fans in all of this is that they know how good Paul Pogba is. He has one year left on his contract with the English club. As a result, PSG is reportedly looking at bringing Pogba in and challenge for the UCL.

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The Parisian club has a player like Marquinhos who can complement Pogba’s game. He can replicate Kante’s role in the French squad while also being a world-class centre-back. If Pogba does leave for PSG, it will be a bitter pill to swallow for the fans. If he is to succeed at United, the club has to sign a world-class defensive midfielder. However, Manchester United hasn’t been linked to any this far into the transfer window.

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Aniket Awasthi

307 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for MMA and the UFC in general to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Chael Sonnen and 'The Count' Michael Bisping as his favorite fighters, but he is a great admirer of the rise of Israel Adesanya ever since he fought Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221.

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