3 player who can replace Paul Pogba at Manchester United
Paul Pogba's season has been full of ups and downs. He returned to action for Manchester United after winning the prestigious FIFA World Cup with France last summer. After having a solid start to the season, his form and his relationship with the previous manager deteriorated. There were reports that the Frenchman was looking for a way out of the club after falling out with Jose Mourinho.
Pogba's form dipped and was benched for successive games after his abysmal performance against Southampton back in December. Mourhino was sacked in the same month after his side was demolished by Liverpool at Anfield. Manchester United hired Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager for the rest of the season. This move turned Paul Pogba's fortunes around. He was given the license to play further up the pitch and contribute in attack more than defence. Since then, Pogba has established one of the best midfielders again. He is running the show in midfield and has scored 14 goals and provided 11 assists so far this season.
The 26-year old midfielder recently sent Manchester United fans into meltdown in a recent interview as he teased a move away from the Premier League giants to Spanish giants Real Madrid saying that it a ”dream” for any player to play for the Spanish giants. Before the interview, there were many reports suggesting Zinedine Zidane wants Paul Pogba at Real Madrid next season.
If Pogba does leave in the summer, Manchester United will find it hard to replace such a quality player on the pitch. However, here are three centre-midfielders Manchester United can buy to replace Paul Pogba.
#3 Tanguy NDombele (Lyon)
Tanguy Ndombele has earned a lot of reputation with his performances in Ligue 1 and in the Champions League with Lyon this season. Lyon bought him from SC Amiens for a reported fee of €8 million last summer. He has been dominating midfield alongside Houssem Aouar.
The 21-year old Frenchmen is tipped to be 'the next Paul Pogba' and have everything in his game to reach Pogba's level. He has 6 assists in Ligue 1 and averages an impressive 1.3 key passes per game. He also manages 1.6 dribbles per game in Ligue 1 and 2.9 dribbles per game in the Champions League. The midfielder can easily play against high-pressing opponents and can disrupt opposition press at any moment.
If he joins the Red Devils, he has the capability of giving United the competitive edge over top-six opponents who play high-pressing football too. Also, his physicality will help him settle quickly in the ever-demanding Premier League. The midfielder is still very young and showing a lot of promise. Manchester United must act quickly if they want to sign him in the summer transfer window as lots of other big clubs are lurking at his doorstep.
#2 Bruno Fernandes( Sporting CP)
The 24-year old Portuguese midfielder has been in inspiring form this season. He has scored 20 goals and has provided 11 assists so far this season in all competitions. The versatile midfielder can play in a number of positions on the pitch. He has played in various positions, but his best performances have come from as a number 8 this season with Sporting CP.
The 24-year old averages a whopping 3.4 shots per game in Liga NOS. He also averages 3.1 key passes per game and 2 crosses per game, which is staggering. Not only in attack, but the midfielder has also been contributing in defence for his side by averaging 1.7 tackles per game.
Fernandes will add goals from midfield for United just like Paul Pogba and his versatility will mean that United will have a cover for three different positions if they sign him. Fernandes has earned a lot of reputation this season with his performances and the goal-scoring midfielder will be the perfect replacement for Paul Pogba at Manchester United.
#1 Marco Verratti( Paris Saint-Germain)
Marco Verratti is considered one of the best midfielders in the world. The 26-year old has won 5 Ligue 1 titles with Paris Saint-Germain. His quality was portrayed at Old Trafford against Manchester United when he single-handedly dominated the midfield with the likes of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, and Nemanja Matic in the opposition midfield.
The 26-year old complete 90.1% of his passes in Ligue 1 and 92% of his passes in the Champions League. The tenacious midfielder averages 2.5 tackles per game in Ligue 1 and whopping 3.6 tackles per game in the Champions League. He also averages 1.2 interceptions per game in Ligue 1 and 2 interceptions per game in the Champions League. In attack, the midfielder averages 1.2 key passes per game in Ligue 1 and 1.1 key passes per game in the Champions League.
Manchester United currently lacks a midfield general who will dominate the middle of the park and help them dominate possession against top sides. Verratti is the player who possesses such quality. His passing and tenacity to get the ball back will make help Manchester United dominate games in midfield even against the biggest sides in Europe. If Manchester United are to lure him away from PSG in the summer, he is going to cost them a fortune. But they will require a player of such immense quality to fill the void in midfield that will be left by Paul Pogba.