Source: Paul Pogba via Facebook
Manchester United’s record signing Paul Pogba has recently been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, as the French champions hope to continue building their extremely expensive super team. Jose Mourinho was desperate to get hold of the former Juventus man in August of 2016, but his form since returning to Old Trafford has been somewhat sporadic. Would it be wise for United to cash in on Pogba and use the money to strengthen in other areas?
When United signed Pogba from Juventus it marked a world record transfer fee, and the £89.3 million paid is still the club’s biggest outlay by some margin. The French international had established himself as one of the best midfielders in the Italian top flight and was named in the Serie A Team of the Year for three seasons running in 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16. In 2015, Pogba was also shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or and earned 15th place. There was no doubt that the slick and skilful playmaker was one of the best in the world in the position, and Mourinho believed he was getting the key ingredient required to dominate in the Premier League.
However, upon returning to Old Trafford Pogba has failed to live up to his price tag. His acquisition was supposed to bring about glory, but since Pogba’s signing, United have only won the League Cup and the Europa League. They do have a chance of picking up a trophy this season and are 6/4 in the FA Cup betting to win at Wembley at the time of writing. Even if Mourinho’s men do manage to brush aside Chelsea in the final, it would still represent a disappointing campaign.
There are a number of other top-flight players in Pogba’s position who are drastically outperforming the Frenchman. Crosstown rivals Manchester City have Kevin De Bruyne, who has been a standout star in their title-winning campaign this season. The Belgian assisted 17 goals in 37 games and scored an additional eight. Pogba only assisted 13 and scored 6 in the same timeframe. Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli has also enjoyed a more prolific output that the United man, scoring 9 goals and assisting 13. These players were signed for a considerable amount less than the Frenchman, and represent much better value for money.
United have set an astronomical price tag for their record signing, and PSG may well be willing to pay it. The Daily Mail reports that the Old Trafford outfit will demand £140 million for their powerful midfielder if clubs come knocking in the summer transfer window. It wouldn’t be surprising to see United supporters encouraging the club to cash in and use the cash to build in other areas. For that kind of money, the Red Devils could bring in three world-class stars.
Pogba has improved in his second season back in Manchester, and if he continues this upward trajectory he could be crucial next term. Mourinho will not want to admit that he was wrong about the player either. However, if Pogba does stay and has another subpar season, he will definitely have to consider selling.