5 potential replacements if Paul Pogba leaves Manchester United
Just when it seemed that Manchester United's drama-filled start to the season was finally settling, Paul Pogba seems to have to stoked the troubled fires again.
Speaking in an interview before France's UEFA Nations League tie against The Netherlands, Pogba seemed to have left the door open for a possible move to FC Barcelona either in January or next season.
This has not gone down well with Manchester United fans who have been swayed by Jose Mourinho's clever manipulations and are now turning against the Portuguese manager's perceived enemies; Ed Woodward, Pogba and others.
The latest statements will not go down well with anybody within the club as there is the feeling that the French international has not done enough to justify the behaviour he is currently exhibiting. Following his record-breaking £89m move from Juventus in 2016, it was felt that he would become the corner piece of the new-look Manchester United side post-Sir Alex Ferguson.
The club would want to recoup a part of the huge fee it paid for his services but of more immediate concern would be signing a replacement.
Here is a look at 5 players who could be signed if Pogba does eventually leave:
#5 Frenkie De Jong (Ajax)
One youngster whose stock has risen rapidly in recent months, the world is very much at his feet. The 21-year-old has in a very short time become integral for Ajax and may excel just as well for United. Operating as a regista (deep-lying playmaker), De Jong is the builder-from-the-back, a highly revered position in Dutch football.
He has the intelligence to know when to carry the ball forward to evade the pressing of the opposition. He is also aware enough to know when to pass conservatively to slow down the tempo to help teammates recover or pass forward to start attacks/counter attacks.
An excellent trait of his which would serve him well is his ability to drop into the centre of the defence and make it a flat back three whenever the fullbacks push on. This makes him the perfect long-term replacement for Pogba.
He can also be fielded alongside Nemanja Matic or Scott McTominay as he can carry the ball forward like the best of them and possesses a range of passing that could rival those of more experienced central midfielders.
A rather pricey €50 million has been quoted for the youngster who could represent better long-term value than even a World Cup winner like Pogba.