With somewhere between 130 and 150 million Euros on the table, the transfer of French midfielder Paul Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United is expected within the next few days. Jose Mourinho has already brought in several new transfers and has been reported to have informed up to nine current squad members that their services are no longer required at Old Trafford.
Certainly looking to make an immediate impact on the field and with Manchester United supporters, the transfer of Pogba represents a major sea change in the Premier League. One of the most technically gifted players in the world, the addition of Pogba will undoubtedly bring a boost to the Red Devils’ attack this upcoming season.
A former academy member, the young Paris native left Manchester United for Juventus in the summer of 2012 and quickly blossomed into one of the most promising prospects in Europe. He helped lead the Old Lady to three consecutive Serie A titles and a Champions League final in 2015.
Now, with the possibility for a return to Manchester in the cards, we highlight what can be expected from the young midfielder this season and beyond in the English first division.
PACE AND CREATIVITY
One of the issues that plagued Manchester United during the 2015-16 season was an overemphasis on defensive midfield play. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Marouane Fellaini and Daley Blind all provided excellent work in the defensive half but not as much moving forward towards goal. Borussia Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan was brought on in response to this problem as well, but will be expected to play higher up in the formation.
Paul Pogba is who Mourinho expects to fill this role and should be able to do so in spectacular fashion. Euro 2016 with France displayed how Pogba is much more comfortable in an attacking role instead of a holding position, and United are expecting him to go at opposing teams whenever possible.
Besides findings plenty of scoring chances for himself, Pogba’s service will set up plenty of goals for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in transition as well.
Despite many promising products coming through their youth ranks, the Manchester United first team had begun to have key players begin to show signs of slowing down. Wayne Rooney and Bastian Schweinsteiger in particular did not play at the levels most are accustomed to seeing them at and underperformed throughout last season.
23-year old Pogba brings with him youth and an enthusiastic attitude that may just be what the club needs to return to the top of the league. Forward Marcus Rashford’s rise last campaign inspired an excellent run of form and Pogba could have a similar effect.
A NEW ERA
While a signing like Zlatan Ibrahimovic may not signify a new era for years to come, Paul Pogba’s arrival certainly would. Along with Mkhitaryan, Pogba joins a squad that will truly become Mourinho’s instead of Van Gaal’s.
Players like Martial, Rashford and David de Gea recognize these additions and will want to be part of a club that may be on the cusp of accomplishing great things in the Premier League and Europe. Mourinho also recognizes the rare chance to show that Sir Alex Ferguson was wrong when he let Pogba go in 2012. Sir Alex’s shadow was cast large over David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal while both managers attempted to guide United to success.
The Special One, on the other hand, seems ready to jump at the chance to bring Pogba back and show the owners and fanbase that he can make the right player decisions.
Manchester United and all involved with the club expect to improve upon last season’s fifth place finish in the Premier League. Adding a player like Paul Pogba will more than likely make that ambition a reality, even with an astronomical price.
The Glazers better have that checkbook ready.
Roy Emanuel, TFN International Correspondent on 03/08/2016 at 11:10
Follow Roy on Twitter @roy13a