Pogba: The Ninety Million Pound Problem

When Paul Pogba returned to Manchester United for a hefty price tag of £90 million, with it came massive expectations. Obviously it is the Frenchman’s first season back in English football, he still needs time to adapt. However, when a player comes for that amount of money you expect a lot more from them. Paul Pogba has not delivered this season, there is confusion over what is his best position. Pogba has played in a midfield two this season, a role that comes with a lot of defensive responsibilities. Pogba is a liability defensively, he does not look interested in that side of the game. The question is then, why does Mourinho continue to play him in that position?

I believe Pogba’s best position is on the left of a midfield three, it gives the France international more freedom. With that position comes with an expectation of providing a large number of assists or goals, or ideally both. Mourinho has played Pogba there on occasion this season. Pogba has scored four goals and provided three assists so far this season, for a player who cost £90 million that’s not good enough. Of course it is not Pogba’s fault that Manchester United were willing to spend that much on him. However he must understand that with a high price tag, a player must handle the high expectations – I don’t think Pogba has.

There is no denying the Frenchman’s quality, his passing ability is outstanding. If Manchester United want a player to spray balls across the pitch, they already have one in Michael Carrick. Pogba has to find out where he feels most comfortable on the pitch, where he can have the most impact on a game. At the moment I feel that Pogba is stuck in the middle, in the sense that he needs to have a settles position, the constant changes are not good for his development. If you look at the likes of Steven Gerrard  and Frank Lampard, both players guaranteed over ten goals a season and a number of assists. Pogba needs to be in the same bracket as those two players.

It is too early to judge Pogba, he is only 23. He is still developing as a player, I feel next season we will see a lot more from him. There has been talk of Antoine Griezmann making a move to Old Trafford, if that does materialise he would have to play every week. You are then left with the question of who would you sacrifice, at this moment you would say Pogba.

When you look at players that cost £90 million and above. You have the likes of Bale, Ronaldo and Messi, they all bring a large number of goals and assists every season. You would say that Manchester United haven’t received value for money with the purchase of Pogba this season. There is still plenty of time for the player to improve. It is important that Mourinho gets the best out of him and finds out where he has the biggest impact.

Pogba needs to stay in one position, whether it is further forward or in a deeper role. If this does not happen Manchester United will have a problem on their hands.