Opinion: Paul Pogba is more of a problem than a solution
Paul Pogba returned to Manchester United in 2016 as the then world's most expensive player. A lot has been talked about his price tag, as well as his actions on and off the pitch. When he arrived at United in 2016, he was seen as a potential Ballon d'Or winner, and was supposed to be the leader to carry United into the next decade.
Jose Mourinho was said to be the coach to instill the world class characteristics required to make him one of the best in the world. But what has happened is quite difficult to explain. Since his return to United, Pogba has never been able to perform consistently the way he did at Juventus.
His first season was okay and could be excused since it was his first real season in the Premier League. United started the next season with the additions of Romelu Lukaku, Lindelof and Nemanja Matic to set Pogba free of his defensive duties.
However, his second season was a misery. Though he started the season extremely well, a suspension and an injury halted the momentum. He was not able to replicate his form. Paul Scholes nailed it when he said,
Pogba performs once in 4 matches
The mid season reveal by Pep Guardiola that Raiola offered Pogba to Man City created a huge buzz around him. The January arrival of Alexis Sanchez seemed to hit his confidence hard. He was also benched due to his inconsistent displays.
Rumours of unrest with Mourinho have failed to disappear with the United boss said to be frustrated with Pogba’s inconsistent displays.
There was a talk of exit in the summer window with Pogba being keen on a move away to Barcelona or Juventus. He added to the rumours this week when he suggested he could look to leave United saying,
Who knows what will happen in the next few months?
A player bought for a world record fee at the time and playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world cannot let any rumour stay afloat. That sentence itself shows how uncommitted he has been to his current employers.
For a club like United, a player like him is a huge NO NO. Rumours has it that Pogba is sick and tired of Jose and that Pogba is confident United would pick him over Mourinho. But why would any club in the world stand by a player who's taking little jibes at them publicly?
Ed Woodward has been criticized for the lack of transfer activity this summer, and he has a real decision to make in the next few months. Should United compromise on all the insults and stick with Pogba?
My opinion would be NO. United are one of the biggest clubs in the world with a massive history. They can't afford to keep a player throwing little jibes at them, let alone their most expensive signing. A player contracted to a club, teasing about transfers is in itself a disgrace.
The funny thing is, Pogba never really cared about proving his critics wrong when they lamented his hairstyles and inconsistent performances, never tried to integrate himself to Jose's systems, but he and his agent care too much about his image and transfers.
Though he was deployed as a CDM in his national team, He was a totally different player at the World Cup - disciplined, defensive, commanding, and game changing. He also mentions to the press that he did not want to care about his hairstyle to focus on the World Cup. Why can't Pogba do the same at Man Utd?
He was supposed to be the problem solver, but he's creating more than he's solving. He was supposed to be the midfield linchpin, but he disappears every other game. He was supposed to create chances from the center of the park, but is selfish at times.
Personally, I find it hard to come up with reasons to keep Pogba. There are literally none. He's not hard working, not consistent, not focused, and not willing to fight for the club. United deserve more than Pogba. They deserve someone who's willing to fight for the shirt like Ander Herrera.
I'd much rather pick Scott McTominay or Fellaini over Pogba. Who'll fill his boots if he leaves? United already have a plethora of talent available. There are more focused and hungry midfielders on the market as well. Maybe United will start playing better as a team if he leaves, like how Liverpool did after Coutinho left last winter.
People say Pogba's flirtation runs parallel to that of Ronaldo at United. But Cristiano was already a legend at United when he wanted to leave for Real Madrid, his dream club. Cristiano helped United win 3 Premier League titles and win the UCL back in the day.
Ronaldo deserved to go to Madrid, whereas Pogba just doesn't deserve to be at United anymore. I'm not a fan of the punditry industry, but for once I agree with Graeme Souness when he said,
Perhaps we're now seeing the selfish player Fergie didn't fancy the first time round?