Why Paul Pogba leaving Man United makes sense for all parties
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Mercurial Frenchman Paul Pogba has made his intentions clear. He wants to depart from Manchester United this summer. Can you really blame him?
The Old Trafford outfit has been in rebuild mode over the last half-decade but the harsh reality is United have gone backwards, not forwards. Now, the Red Devils are as far away from adding to the trophy case in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era as they have ever been. That's despite Pogba's best efforts.
Pogba's best single season in professional football delivered an impressive sixteen goals and eleven assists. That three-month period when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer first took charge was simply scintillating, but the few months directly proceeding that were painstakingly familiar. The sulky, sloppy Frenchman returned. He wasn't alone in that regard, mind...
For whatever reason, his performance levels dropped, culminating in a rather public spat with a fan following the harrowing 2-0 home defeat to Cardiff City on the final day. Why should he want to stick around and open himself up to more abuse? Although the fan in question probably could have gone about it better, he made a valid point. Pogba, on the whole, hasn't been good enough.
I don't think it's a stretch to say the club has bent over backwards for their #6. United signed Nemanja Matic to 'unlock' Pogba, a similar thought was in mind when Fred was brought in. The Red Devils even changed their formation to suit the £89million man, to no avail. His crowning glory has been to relieve Jose Mourinho of his duties shortly after a training ground disagreement between the pair. Again, Pogba wasn't the only factor in the self-proclaimed Special One's downfall, but you'd be naive if you didn't think he contributed towards it...
With all that being said, the stats speak for themselves. Whether you're a Pogba fan or not, he has been United's best midfielder over the last twelve months. That's not even up for debate. The inconsistency in his game will remain, though, particularly when he's playing with the bang-average players that collectively make up the Old Trafford dressing room.
They say United will demand £160million to let Pogba leave. If Edward Woodward manages to get that fee, the club would have almost doubled their investment on the 26-year-old. All this highlights is that football is now becoming more about financial success, after all, Pogba is arguably the most marketable player on the planet. Despite all his on-field issues (not all of which are purely his doing), money talks. He makes a lot of it for whatever club that pays his wages.
After tasting World Cup success last summer, Pogba's craving to win major honours will only grow stronger. It's why the pull of a move back to a one-sided Serie A with Juventus is tempting, and we all know just how dominant Real Madrid have been on the European stage. Why wouldn't Pogba have aspirations to go out and join either of these global giants?
United held all the aces due to the fact that Pogba (effectively) has three years left on his deal. The 20-time Premier League champions aren't under any pressure whatsoever to sell. That's why Pogba was forced into taking matters into his own hands by going public with his plan to depart.
Paul Pogba has admitted he is thinking of leaving Manchester United for a new challenge this summer, with Juventus and Real Madrid interested in the midfielder: https://t.co/V3E3rnYFQT https://t.co/kI9fgDLz7z
Claiming he fancies a 'new challenge' yet coming nowhere close to succeeding in his current venture, Pogba has forced United's hand. The world now knows he wants out; namely potential buyers who'll be looking to secure his signature significantly cheaper as the Red Devils have one less leg to stand on.
For United, a sale would end the constant debate about whether Pogba is the vital cog in building an empire or part of the problem who has been dragging the team down. There's only one way to find out. They must either let him leave or build a team jam-packed with quality around him. Right now, the former looks more likely.
Keeping an unhappy player against his will is never a smart idea. Why should Solskjaer spend time coaching a player who doesn't want to be there when he can be focused on someone else?
Then you have the financial aspect. United's best time to sell is right now. Pogba's value is only going to go down from here on out as there is no way he's signing a new deal. The Glazer's love their money, so I don't see them taking an £89million-gamble at this stage. That's why I think the player will leave.
For the fans, the back-and-forth bickering about Pogba will be over and then we'd finally get a definitive answer as to who was right...
No doubt whoever wins Pogba's signature will benefit from his immense talents, but that shouldn't be United's concern. Instead, they need to be calm and composed in choosing his successor. Preferably one that fits Solskjaer's system and is willing to give his all to return this great club back to its former glory.