Should Paul Pogba Stay at Manchester United?
August 8th marked the fifth anniversary of Paul Pogba returning to Manchester United. These five years of Pogba have been filled with magical moments and stretches of utter dismay, which makes the topic of Paul Pogba a very divisive conversation amongst Manchester United fans.
Some fans believe he hasn’t lived up to the (then) world record fee United paid for him. Others think he hasn’t ever had the right pieces around him to live up to that potential. Regardless of where you stand on the Frenchman, what can’t be argued is his injury and consistency record, which has been less than adequate. In his five years back at Old Trafford, Pogba has managed only two seasons with over thirty premier league games. When he is out, United misses him. When he’s fit, United usually misses him. However, the stretches of form Pogba has once and a while give enough reason to believe he is world-class when he wants to be.
This summer Manchester United and Paul Pogba are at a crossroads. Every transfer window, Paul Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, is highly outspoken about finding a new opportunity for his client. A few summers ago, it was Real Madrid, last summer, it was Juventus, and this summer, Raiola is pushing Pogba for a move to Paris Saint Germain. In years past, United have had the leverage in the negotiations because Pogba was legally bound to a long-term contract, but now the world cup winner has less than a year left on his United deal. If Manchester United doesn’t sell him for a cut-price deal this summer, Pogba could leave for free in 2022. That would be the second time Pogba left United for free.
So what should the club do? Should they cash in on one of their most prized assets to recoup some capital from the original transfer fee paid? Or should they hold onto him and bet that if the club performs well at the beginning of the season, he may sign a new deal and stay at Old Trafford for years to come?
In my opinion, it’s time for the Frenchman to leave the Theatre of Dreams. He’s had plenty of time to make the impact we all hoped for. Who’s to say that even if Paul signs, he’s signing for the right reasons? Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs globally, capable of paying him the exorbitant wages he’d be asking for. How good is a player who is more driven by his paycheck than his passion for the club? If we sold Pogba for £30-50 million this summer, those funds could be put towards a replacement that better suits the type of team Ole is building to win the Premier League. Paul Pogba can play in any midfield position, but his best-suited role is a more attacking #10 or #8 position. If United decides to continue to play a 4-2-3-1, he’ll play far deeper than he should, which would make him less effective, in my opinion. United boasts very capable #10s and #8s currently with Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Fred, and Scott McTominay. Just imagine how good this United side would be if we replaced Pogba with a proper defensive midfielder, something United has been missing for years. Look at all the clubs who have won the biggest trophies of late; they all have a proper #6.
Image from here