Sport Soccer

Monday 23 April 2018

Pogba deal a 'watershed' for Premier League - Gary Lineker

Paul Pogba has returned to Manchester United for a world-record fee having originally left the club four years ago
Paul Pogba has returned to Manchester United for a world-record fee having originally left the club four years ago

Gary Lineker believes Manchester United's world-record signing of Paul Pogba is a "watershed moment" for the Premier League.

The 23-year-old rejoined United for £89million from Juventus, having left four years ago for a nominal fee, and the size of the deal has drawn plenty of opinion.

Given the number six shirt at Old Trafford, Pogba penned a five-year deal and the transfer was announced early on Tuesday morning.

With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez attracted away from the Premier League and to Spain in recent years, Match of the Day presenter and former England striker Lineker feels Pogba's move is a good one for England.

"The signing of Pogba by @ManUtd is a watershed moment for @premierleague. First time a huge foreign star in his prime has come to England," he wrote on Twitter.

Lineker then added: "Given the wealth of the @premierleague more of the greats will come here and not just to Barca and Real Madrid. Interesting times."

Ex-United captain Rio Ferdinand was at the club during Pogba's first stint at Old Trafford and believes he will not be in awe of the money paid to bring him back.

"Paul is a huge talent and someone with the personality to handle that price tag," Ferdinand told BBC Sport.

"He can do everything. He is still working out the best way to use all of his weapons but, once he does, he will be an absolute monster of a player. Paul told me before he left that he wanted to be the best player in the world,"

"Paul's character means he will deal with being such a big investment - so that won't be a problem."

United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin posted a picture and a message to his France international team-mate on Instagram.

Below an image of the pair, along with Anthony Martial, Schneiderlin wrote: "Welcome back @paulpogba!"

Jesse Lingard, who scored the winner in United's FA Cup final success in May, won the FA Youth Cup in the same team as Pogba back in 2011 and used Instagram to simply say: "Wait on it...welcome home @paulpogba."

With Pogba joining Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in signing for Jose Mourinho's Manchester United, they have completed all of the business the Portuguese said he wanted to conduct ahead of his first season in charge.

But former England and Liverpool goalkeeper David James poked fun at the fact those big-name signings will not be plying their trade in the Champions League in the coming campaign.

"With Zlatan and Pogba both capable of lighting up a match, I'm very excited to see them in this season's Europa League," he posted on Twitter.

Former United favourite Andy Cole told he is looking forward to seeing Pobga back at Old Trafford.

"Well, judging by his Juventus performances, then I would say I am very excited," he said.

"He is a top player and everyone is delighted to have him back. I love his energy - he has great energy in midfield."

Former United youth-team coach Paul McGuinness, who was in charge of the 2011 Youth Cup-winning side which contained Pogba, revealed his abilities have left their mark on a number of other players still at the club.

"He really mixed with the other players, had real charisma and a will to win - right from the start he was outstanding," McGuinness told Sky Sports News.

"We had a lot of very good, very skilful players - the da Silva twins (Rafael and Fabio), Ravel Morrison and a lot of competition for places.

"We had mixed aged-group sessions where the older players would mix with the younger ones, Pogba and Jesse Lingard were the same age but also with Marcus Rashford.

"They would have played together in highly-skilled playground-type sessions and I'm sure you'll see those skills coming out again in the Premier League.

"We had a lot of high-class players over the years but he really stands out, we didn't teach him the skills of flicking it over someone's head or dragging the ball back, he had those before he came.

"But what we had was an environment where that was encouraged and that really brushed off on the others and you see Rashford doing some of those things, and Jesse Lingard."

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