Paul Pogba. A name that has filled newspaper columns and made headlines all summer. Not because of his performances at Euro 2016, which were, in truth, underwhelming by his standards, nor for any drama in his personal life. No, Paul Pogba’s name has been mentioned countless times in the football community because of his drawn out return to Manchester United.
Pogba originally departed United in 2012, frustrated at a lack of first team football under the management of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson. After repeatedly refusing to sign a new deal, the Frenchman left northwest England for Turin and made Italian giants Juventus his new club.
In the four seasons since, Pogba has won four Serie A titles and helped Juve to a Champions League final, as well as helping his country to the final of Euro 2016. Pogba has gone from strength to strength in that time, and United have decided that he is now good enough to warrant smashing the transfer record to bring him back to the club.
The past five times the world transfer record has been broken, Real Madrid have been the club to fork out the cash. They have signed Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Kaká, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale for world record fees since the turn of the century, but United now boast the world’s most expensive player, with the reported £89million fee for Pogba eclipsing the £86m paid to Tottenham for the services of Bale three years ago.
The biggest debate surrounding this transfer has been whether Pogba warrants the fee. Pundits and ex-players alike have been split in their views, with some citing that Pogba is too raw a talent to be paying such a large sum for him, and others mentioning his potential to become the best player in the world.
The truth is, new Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho won’t care about Pogba’s price – all he will be thinking about is the fact that Pogba could be the missing piece to his United jigsaw.
Since taking over from Louis van Gaal, Mourinho has signed Eric Bailly at centre half, Henrikh Mkhitaryan in midfield and superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to lead the line for the club this season.
The deal to re-sign Pogba has been very drawn out, and it surely goes down as the worst kept secret in this summer’s transfer window. His fee is astronomical and some are reporting that it may be the first ever £100m deal in the game.
However, with the sponsorship money that Premier League clubs now receive, his transfer fee will be worth every penny should he help United to the title.
Ibrahimovic has already come up with the goods, scoring the winning goal in the Community Shield, and United seem to be hungry to recapture their glory days.
For United fans, it is beginning to feel like an awfully long time since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down after 26 years in charge, but they have a manager that could rival Fergie.
Against each other, Mourinho had the upper hand, and managed to win three titles in six seasons at Chelsea over the course of two spells in charge. The hope from the fans of the club are that Mourinho can add to his haul of trophies from his time in charge of Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
The best thing for the fans, though, is that Mourinho will bring the fear factor back to the club. His formidable record in English football is begging to be extended, and he has a hunger and a drive within him that will set him on his way to success.
Mourinho has an awful lot to prove, especially after such a disappointing start to the 2015 season. And combined with Pogba, who wants to prove United should never have let him leave, it could be the perfect record for success.