What Does #Pogback Mean For Manchester United?

Last week, during the early hours of Tuesday morning, Paul Pogba became a Manchester United player — for the second time. The Manchester club broke the world transfer record to secure the services of the Frenchman from Juventus after letting him go for next to nothing back in 2012. It was a move that had been highly anticipated and sparked worldwide debate among many football fans over the summer. It was indeed the biggest transfer saga of the summer which finally came to a conclusion to send United fans into a frenzy and left rival fans with mixed emotions of panic, disappointment, and hate. But what are the implications of the biggest transfer of the summer for Manchester United?

Manchester United’s newest midfielder

Let us begin by analyzing the transfer by first looking at the fee. The major question football fans have asked themselves and each other ever since it became clear United were keen on bringing Pogba back for a world record fee has been whether he was worth that much money. Do I think its excessive, YES. Do I think it makes sense in this current market YES. Do I think he was worth pursuing given the demands that were brought forth to secure the deal, YES. The fact is that Paul Pogba is arguably one of the best central midfielders in world football at the moment. He is strong, powerful, skillful and sometimes dazzling to watch. Yes he had an underwhelming Euros, but this is a player who has always had confidence in his ability no matter who doubted him. Arguably the greatest manager of all time Sir Alex Ferguson did not think he was ready to play regularly in the first team yet, contrary to what then 18 year old Pogba believed. This was what led to their fallout and resulted in him departing the club in what was rumored to be a bitter dispute between the parties involved.

Pogba moved on to a club who believed in his ability at the time and were ready to give him a significant chance in their first team. He has gone from strength to strength every year ever since joining Juventus in 2012. He has won the Serie A title in each year he has been in Italy, 2 coppa italia titles and 2 Supercoppa Italiana titles. Only a year after he left United, he won the Golden Boy award, which went a long way to prove that he was indeed ready for the big stage. He has cemented his place in Juventus folklore as one of their best midfielders and has become a regular in the French national team — all this before his twenty fourth birthday.

The prodigal son reunites with staff at the Carrington Training Center

For a team that is looking to rebuild and return to former glory, bringing in a player of his class does not only satisfy the crucial need of such a player to dominate the midfield of a club like Manchester United, but also signals the level of intent for a club that has not really stolen the march on big name players from clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich in a while. let us not forget in this very window they lost out to Bayern Munich in the signing of Portuguese wonderkid Renato Sanches. Once again, the club is re-establishing their pulling power in the transfer market which was beginning to become an area of concern for the club’s supporters after three underwhelming seasons under David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal.

Jose Mourinho has a reputation for spending big and delivering trophies. so this fits right into his MO. Since he joined Chelsea in 2004, he spent £63m in total during his first spell in England and delivered two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, three League Cups and one Community Shield. At Inter, he delivered two Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia, one Champions League and one Italian Super Cup. Over in Spain, he won La Liga, Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup. He returned to Chelsea in 2013 and subsequently won the League Cup and the Premier League title the following season. Manchester United fans certainly have legitimate reasons to be optimistic that he’s going to restore them to former glories with players like Pogba, Martial, Ibrahimovic, Rashford, Mhkytarian, Rooney, Bailly, Smalling etc. but should the expectations for Manchester United this season be to win the title at Mourinho’s first try especially after the big money signing of Pogba? I personally think there’s still some work to be done by Mourinho to make this team a championship winning team. A player like Pogba surely strengthens their midfield but it's a team game and signing one player albeit the most expensive one in history, does not guarantee titles.

One of Manchester United’s official released picture confirming Pogba’s signing

A player of his class is certainly going to improve the squad, but where does he fit in? Im still not certain how Jose intends to use him. As a box to box midfielder or a more defined central midfield role? I would like to imagine him playing like Yaya Toure has at Manchester City over the years, a box to box midfielder with a more defensive midfield partner for support. But given Jose is a man who likes disciplined players aka “specialists” it remains to be seen how Pogba is deployed in midfield.

There are still some questions to be answered over the course of the season regarding Paul Pogba’s return to Old Trafford. However one thing is certain, its exciting times once again in the red half of Manchester.