The fact people are so focused on the life and times of Paul Pogba may well be an indictment on how indifferent Manchester United have been this year, in spite of their league position. But the question is now widely discussed – should the £90m midfielder leave?
Well, given the nature of the industry these days, there’s plenty of variables. Here’s four factors that may influence the decision.
So, considering the fact he’s one of the biggest brands in world football, he can’t just nip off to China because he’ll lose his appeal with the major sporting franchises. He’s at one of the biggest clubs in the world in terms of international brand awareness, so he’s definitely in the right place. He’s also the only megastar on their books, despite David De Gea being one of the best goalkeepers anyone’s ever seen. Nobody will take a risk on ‘keepers though, because they’re lunatics.
— adidas Football (@adidasfootball) January 31, 2018
The Premier League changes more than the Irish weather. People may think that Mourinho is holding United back and that impending major trophies are few and far between. However, if Guardiola leaves his post at City or Mourinho flees, the landscape completely changes. He’s still only twenty-five and can afford to stay in a Premier League that’s stronger now than it’s been in the last ten years. He can jaunt off to Ligue 1 and win a title there, but does it really matter given PSG’s dominance? A Champions League is the epitome of any footballer’s career and if you forget the blip against Sevilla, no other manager has been as successful, all things considered, in the tournament as Mourinho.
It’s a long-held view that English media are piranhas waiting to chomp onto any deviation to the norm. Paul Pogba could buy different toilet paper one week and there’d be a five-page spread about him in the paper the day after. It’s a lot for any player to deal with. When you add in the fact that he’s carrying a ludicrous price tag in a league that is obsessed with figures, you could see why he might be struggling to just focus on the football. He’s not a footballer in England, he’s a case study. He’d benefit from a break from overly-intrusive journalists.
What exactly is Paul Pogba? Is he an 8? A 6? A 10? The answer is probably somewhere in between an 8 and a 10. He needs space, so he’ll likely not benefit from playing in a lone role in the hole. He certainly can’t sit in a one, or a two. He need a free role and to be depended on to create with the ball at his feet. Mourinho’s systems don’t allow for such a luxury. Given how many games in the Premier League are considered ‘big’, a cautious approach will likely be the order of the day for most clubs for the foreseeable, too. Perhaps Juventus was the perfect situation for him. A return there or to a club similar might be the ticket.