Our player season reviews continue with a piece on Paul Pogba. We are looking at his season panned out individually, as the Frenchman was the main star of Manchester United this campaign. The player that divides opinions just with the mention of his name caught a lot of attention, sometimes for very positive reasons and sometimes for not so positive reasons.
What Do The Numbers Say?
Paul Pogba played 2430 minutes of Premier League and Champions League football. In those two competitions, he made 32 appearances, with three matches played in the FA Cup and one in League Cup. Pogba scored six goals, all of them coming in the league, while also assisting ten times in that competition. Where he obviously lacked was bigger numbers in the Champions League, where he managed to record a single assist.
Five of his six goals came from less than 10 yards, implying he can be a big threat when arriving into the box from deep areas. Pogba was making 1.6 key passes per 90 minutes in the two biggest competitions which is not bad but is not great either. Yet it is to be expected that these numbers are lower, having in mind what kind of midfielder he is and he managed to overcome those smaller numbers with great dribbling numbers. He was completing 3.00 successful dribbles per 90 this season, making it possible for United to continue going forwards.
His defensive numbers were not good – expectedly – confirming that Pogba needs the freedom to prosper and that defensive work is suffocating him in a way. He managed to achieve only 2.0 successful tackles and interceptions (combined) per 90, further proving the point.
Was He An Important Player For The Club?
Of course, no doubt about that. Pogba was brought in in 2016 to become the main star of this side and he has been trying to become the main star on the pitch as well. There were some problems during the season, with the alleged fall-out with Jose Mourinho, when manager was making decisions to bench him in some very important games.
That did not always produce a reaction from the player, but one of the highlights of his season must be the performance against Manchester City this spring, when he was the one initiating the great comeback after being 2-0 down at half-time. Those kind of matches showed what was expected of Pogba in the biggest matches. That may sound unfair, but if Pogba really wants to become a true Man United great, then hiding from responsibility is not an option.
Projection For The 2018-19 Season
The feeling right now is that the 2018-19 will be the make it or break it season. First, it will be his third season since coming back to Manchester and in these two seasons we have not seen the best of him on a consistent basis. Pogba needs to step up and improve overall, as he is getting into mid-twenties and he is not that young of a player anymore. He has to show proper leadership and the hope is that exactly that will happen.