3 Reasons why Manchester United need to keep Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba is under intense scrutiny right now. The mercurial Frenchman had been the statement signing of Jose Mourinho when the Portuguese joined Manchester United in 2016. However, Pogba had failed to assert his influence in the team under his former manager. He was inconsistent and the United faithful never really warmed up to him. When Mourinho was given the axe in December last year, many even accused Pogba of being the main culprit.
But when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over the reins at Old Trafford, the Frenchman had a new lease of life. Sadly, that phase has passed and of late, Pogba has been on a poor run of form once more.
As usual, this has helped build an opinion that the Frenchman should be allowed to leave Manchester United in the summer. But here are 3 reasons why the Red Devils should brush aside those notions, and hold on to Pogba beyond the summer.
#3 No better replacement
Solskjaer could give in to the common opinion and allow Paul Pogba to leave. The Frenchman could even help United recover their investment as he does have quite a few suitors around Europe. Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has openly spoken of his desire to bring his countryman to the Bernabeu. Barcelona are also apparently interested in the Frenchman. Juventus, as this season revealed, are not a complete team yet, and Allegri would welcome his pupil back with open arms. If Pogba decides to leave, he will not be short of options, but the same cannot be said for Manchester United.
If the Frenchman does decide to leave, United will have to invest heavily in the transfer market to get a replacement. As of now, it is hard to find any similar player who will be available in the summer. Men like Marco Verratti, Thiago Alcantara or Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will be very hard to prise away from their respective clubs because United are no longer an attractive option with Champions League football yet to be confirmed next season.
As such, the possibility of United getting a like-for-like replacement for Pogba is very low. His departure could leave a void in the center of the park that would be very hard to fill. The Red Devils are therefore better advised to keep hold of their talisman.
#2 Solskjaer can get the best out of him
Pogba was brought to Manchester United by Mourinho but he failed to thrive under the Portuguese. While there could be various reasons for his inability to be successful at United, one of the reasons has to be the lack of trust from his manager.
In Solskjaer, Pogba has a manager who trusts him again. This was evident from the sudden rise of the Frenchman ever since the arrival of the Norwegian. Pogba was brilliant during the initial few months under Solskjaer, scoring goals, setting up his team mates and dominating the midfield like the Paul Pogba we knew from Juventus and France.
However, his recent lack of form is an aspect that has to be addressed and who better to do it than a man who has seen Pogba up close during his teenage years. The Frenchman has played under the Norwegian when Solskjaer was in charge of the United reserves.
With a proper pre-season and important changes to the squad made over the summer transfer window, Solskjaer could very well turn United around next season. And he can definitely get Pogba firing on all cylinders again. It is a risk no doubt, but a risk worth taking that could propel United to the pinnacle of success.
Imagine being Pogba right now. Imagine all the criticism and rumours surrounding him. It is a reason enough to be inspired. Solskjaer could take that fire and unleash a motivated and charged up Pogba next season.
#1 His abilities
There are very few players in the world in the mould of Pogba right now. The Frenchman is a complete package - he can attack, he can defend, he is equally comfortable with long balls as he is with short passes. The Frenchman is also extremely skillful on the ball and can easily give his marker the slip. And as he has shown this season, he can score goals as well.
The Frenchman has already scored 16 goals and registered 10 assists from 43 games in all competitions. This is his best return ever and he is also the highest scorer for Manchester United this season. The United teams of old were built on midfielders who contributed goals from the middle of the park. Pogba has done just that this season, even though he was under Mourinho's shackles for the first half of the season.
Next season, a fully fit and confident Pogba, with a few more world class players around him will be a terrific asset for Solskjaer as he fights on four fronts. The Frenchman is also a natural leader and is entering the peak age of his professional career. But his footballing abilities are a reason enough why Manchester United must keep hold of Pogba.