A few quick thoughts on Pogba given the papers have quotes from his agent today saying that United want him but there are other interested clubs and ultimately his future is totally unknown.
The fact he (Pogba) might even be impatient is annoying. He’s 18 and has no right to think he should be playing in the first team. More often than not he’s been poor for the Reserves this season. He’s not good enough to be regularly involved in the first team at the moment – or at least done nothing to suggest that he should be included ahead of other Reserve team players. The odd fleeting bench appearance is fine as he clearly has potential, but others – Cole, Lingard and Petrucci in particular, have been better than him this season and should really be ahead of him in the pecking order. The only thing that might keep Pogba ahead of them is his superior physique.
There’s nothing humiliating about not being in the first team yet. He’s 18 and has already had more first team exposure than Scholes, Butt, Beckham, Fletcher and Gibson had at the same age.
Pogba’s got plenty of great qualities but they’ve not been seen regularly enough this season. He should be dominating Reserve games by now if he’s as good as we’re lead to believe, but he does that infrequently. He still needs to fill out and has so much to learn and improve on.
If he thinks he should be playing regularly in the first team now then he should leave and try his luck elsewhere – it may well work out for him in someone else’s first team this soon but United have no need to rush through someone who really isn’t at the right level yet.
The few occasions I’ve met him he was polite and very grateful to be at United. I’ve no doubt he likes being at the club and in the few interviews he’s given he’s always been very positive about his future at United. He’s clearly being very badly advised – when you’re 18 and someone keeps telling you that you should earn big money and be in the first team, you start to believe it after a while. I can’t blame the club for apparently taking a hard line on this situation, they don’t need to be played around by an 18 year old and his agent.
The ideal situation is clearly that he signs a new deal – it shouldn’t be big money but should definitely work in some clause whereby if he progresses at a quick rate that his wage could increase proportionately – at least it’s an incentive for him. He has to be patient, work hard and maybe go on loan for the last few months of this season and/or the first half of next season.
To another club, Pogba may be worth much more than he is to United. Weekly wages of 40-45k have been thrown around in the papers with Juventus most often linked. He may well be worth that to them but he isn’t worth that to United, not yet anyway hence why an incentive based contract with the potential for a high wage seems most sensible. Yet, if a club is willing to offer him a tasty wage package then could you blame him for leaving? At 18, you don’t want to have to be making monetary decisions but big money is a huge lure, probably more so than if he was older.
Bottom line is it’s no failure on United’s part if he leaves. This is the age of hyping up youngsters too early and big money – once United cave in and give one unproven youngster a big deal, the rest will follow or at least feel entitled to demand a similar wage. We don’t need to go down that dangerous path and it’s pleasing to see that clearly the club agree.