The 90 Million Pound Lad

The 90 Million Pound Lad

Over the years, the scale of the transfer market has drastically shifted thus seeing player value skyrocket. Undoubtedly you get value for money when dealing for the best of players but when cast in a bidding war amongst rivals, financial strength comes into play which in turn influences the market price. Eventually, a certain club overpays to gain bragging rights and most especially land their Man.

Waking up to the news that Manchester United had re-signed Paul Pogba from Juventus was definitely great news for the footballing world. The fee had to be huge considering the player’s release clause but a staggering £89.3m for a midfield player, surpassing the likes of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo as the world’s most expensive football player raised massive debates and also criticism. In football, clubs break bank in the transfer window to acquire so called “match winners/attackers”. What this denotes is that he is capable of scoring a lot of goals and also creating a whole lot as well, and as talented as Pogba, he is a misfit in so many ways considering the criteria.


“According to Mino Raiola: Paul is a work of art. Not the Mona Lisa, though, but more pop. Pogba is like a painting by Basquiat. No one knows his value. Everyone likes when I say he is worth 100, 120 or 130 million. The fact is that the market is a sport in itself.”

A lot of football fans took to the debate of Pogba being overpriced but the United faithful were having none of that, after all their club were financially buoyant and paying top dollar for a player who can fill the void vacated by Paul Scholes “an all-time great” half a decade ago and aid in the club returning to its glory days.

Pogba who recently turned 24 has won 4 Serie A titles, 2 Coppa Italia Cups and on his shelf, stands the Golden boy award for 2013 and the award for the best young player at 2014’s FIFA World Cup, with all these achievements coming during his 4-year spell with Italian giants Juventus. On paper, his experience and accomplishments at the age of 23 is worth half his market price and the rest lies on ability and growth. At 6ft 3 and weighing 84kg, that alone is an observable presence looking at the pitch from the 3rd tier of the North Stand in Old Trafford. As a midfielder, Pogba’s dynamism is close to none as he can play anywhere across a midfield 3; he can sit in front of the back 4 for protection, planted in the middle for stability and retention of possession and just placed behind the striker for link-up play, assists and offers a goal threat to the opposition. His versatility ranges from physicality, creativity, skill and leadership. Pogba’s physique is one that covers ground especially his long legs which aids in tackling, explosive pace and accurate striking ability, his creativity shows through vision for spotting the right pass and his long and precise range of passing, his dribbling, technique, and flair in take-ons reveals the skillset he possesses.

This season he has been a pivot in Manchester United starting XI so far, already appearing 41 times in all competitions scoring 7 goals and assisting 5 in the process. So many times, this season he’s been criticized on performance, insufficient goals and assists and lifestyle off the pitch. On the contrary, its glaring he’s being victimized as a result of his humongous transfer fee because his stats have improved from his best season (14/15) in Juventus colours, where he played alongside stars like; Pirlo, Vidal, Marchisio and Tevez. Since the current Manchester United squad cannot be compared with his previous club in terms of personnel, balance and productivity, he has put in extra efforts towards improving the team thus increasing his pass completion rate, tackling, shots per game, aerial duels and chances created which shows improvement in his gameplay. Football is meant to be social and passionate, but “According to Mino Raiola: Paul is a work of art. Not the Mona Lisa, though, but more pop. Pogba is like a painting by Basquiat. No one knows his value. Everyone likes when I say he is worth 100, 120 or 130 million. The fact is that the market is a sport in itself.”

A lot of football fans took to the debate of Pogba being overpriced but the United faithful were having none of that, after all their club were financially buoyant and paying top dollar for a player who can fill the void vacated by Paul Scholes “an all-time great” half a decade ago and aid in the club returning to its glory days.

Pogba who recently turned 24 has won 4 Serie A titles, 2 Coppa Italia Cups and on his shelf, stands the Golden boy award for 2013 and the award for the best young player at 2014’s FIFA World Cup, with all these achievements coming during his 4-year spell with Italian giants Juventus. On paper, his experience and accomplishments at the age of 23 is worth half his market price and the rest lies on ability and growth. At 6ft 3 and weighing 84kg, that alone is an observable presence looking at the pitch from the 3rd tier of the North Stand in Old Trafford. As a midfielder, Pogba’s dynamism is close to none as he can play anywhere across a midfield 3; he can sit in front of the back 4 for protection, planted in the middle for stability and retention of possession and just placed behind the striker for link-up play, assists and offers a goal threat to the opposition. His versatility ranges from physicality, creativity, skill and leadership. Pogba’s physique is one that covers ground especially his long legs which aids in tackling, explosive pace and accurate striking ability, his creativity shows through vision for spotting the right pass and his long and precise range of passing, his dribbling, technique, and flair in take-ons reveals the skillset he possesses.

This season he has been a pivot in Manchester United starting XI so far, already appearing 41 times in all competitions scoring 7 goals and assisting 5 in the process. So many times, this season he’s been criticized on performance, insufficient goals and assists and lifestyle off the pitch. On the contrary, its glaring he’s being victimized as a result of his humongous transfer fee because his stats have improved from his best season (14/15) in Juventus colours, where he played alongside stars like; Pirlo, Vidal, Marchisio and Tevez. Since the current Manchester United squad cannot be compared with his previous club in terms of personnel, balance and productivity, he has put in extra efforts towards improving the team thus increasing his pass completion rate, tackling, shots per game, aerial duels and chances created which shows improvement in his gameplay. Football is meant to be social and passionate, but castigating a young lad for numerous hairstyles and expressing joy after scoring a goal through dabs and signature handshakes is unfair and unbelievable because millions of people including footballers do the dab. Unlike Oliver Twist, Pogba didn’t ask for more but he worked for more; he wasn’t given the chance in his first stint at Man Utd, so to prove himself he opted to join Juventus in the Serie A, what most would call the hardest league in the world at the age of 19 which he blossomed and made a name for himself as one of the best in the world through self-believe, dedication and hard work.

Next time he’s being criticized about his transfer fee, let’s remind ourselves that he was bought by a team who deemed him not fit for the first team and let him go in the first place.

In a private chat, former Juventus all-time great and current vice-president Pavel Nedved revealed         “I told him (Pogba) play simple and you will be king. Do more, work more. And if you only get one golden ball, it will be a failure.”

The question on everyone’s lips: Is Pogba a 90million pound problem?

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Twitter : @jay_myne  

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