Manchester United will continue next season without Paul Pogba. The French midfielder has made an official decision – he will be the new Juventus player come 1 July, as he reached agreement with the Italian side and will sign a contract with them. Fabrizio Romano reports that everything is done and sealed and that Pogba will be in Italy in two weeks.
These news are creating a full circle of the Paul Pogba and Manchester United arc. And it is not a great story. It has been cooking for years and now that the player has left the club for the second time, we can safely say it has been a terrible time for both sides. The story of Paul Pogba at Manchester United is a story of lost time.
Pogba’s Second Spell At United Highly Unsuccessful
Paul Pogba has joined Manchester United for the second time in the summer of 2016. The Red Devils had paid some 105 million euros to Juventus six years ago, returning a player which had featured in a Champions League final and European Championship final in successive years. But his time at Manchester United has been far from great.
His first season did not seem like that, at least looking at the trophy count. Jose Mourinho had led the team to three trophies, winning Community Shield, League Cup and then Europa League. If there were every three trophies that would not get you any closer to something you would call a ‘treble’, that season felt like it. But years that followed started to show everything in this United-Pogba relationship was far from great.
In six years at the club, he made 226 appearances, but as the time progressed, Pogba was getting injured more and more often, every summer was filled with transfer talk which was fuelled by himself and his then-agent Mino Raiola. And his performances on the pitch continued to worsen. He was often a burden for the team’s defensive performances, unable to play in both directions, often just looking to attack. The 2018-19 was his last season in which he was somewhat consistent with both his playing time and contributions on the pitch.
As the time progressed, problems with ankles, hamstring and calf injuries started piling up, keeping Pogba away from the team, often literally, leaving the country to go and recuperate elsewhere. Now that six years have gone by and in five of them United with Pogba in the team did not win a single trophy, it is clear to see these two were not a great fit. Add to this Pogba’s constant urges to sign a better contract, to ‘better reflect him’, even though he was not backing that up with his performances, and you get a player which on his day could be brilliant and propel United to some great performances, but would ultimately be the player that often let the team down with his inability to adapt and humble down. His media persona always seemed to be more valuable and now that will be something Juventus will have to work with.
One thing is for sure – Pogba will be 30 next year and his club career is not looking as great as many have expected it to be when he came to United. That is also down to the club’s numerous poor decisions, but Pogba’s did not help him either.