WATCH - Graeme Souness and Gary Neville clash over €105m Paul Pogba transfer fee
Graeme Souness has lashed out at Manchester United’s decision to pay over €100m to sign Paul Pogba from Juventus, after insisting the French midfielder is not worth the lavish investment being made on him.
United look set to complete their move for sign Pogba in the coming days, as he prepares to fly in to Manchester today to undergo a medical after Juventus finally gave a green light to the deal after weeks of speculation.
Yet former Liverpool captain and manager Souness believes the 23-year-old Frenchman is over-priced, as he claimed Pogba has not proved himself to be a game changer.
“It’s too much money,” Souness told Sky Sports. “The player didn’t set the fee, but it is too much money.
“Historically, the biggest transfer fees have been spent on strikers. The 30-goals a season player, the ones that can win you so many games.
“For me, I’m yet to be convinced (on Pogba). He has a great deal of potential, they are signing him at a great age, but €100m is too much for him for what he has shown to me last year at Euro 2016.
“He is a wonderful athlete when he moves and he looks like a Rolls Royce, but I have never seem him get hold of a game and dominate a game. I have seen him flit in and out of games and anyway you dress it up, €100m for a midfield player is too much money.
“I don’t see him changing that many games. It’s not like you are buying (Luis) Suarez, who scored 50 goals last season for Barcelona. I just don’t see the value in it.
Returning Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville offered the alternative view, with the former United captain suggesting United can justify the Pogba thanks to the club’s vast revenue potential.
“Pogba is a big fee, but this is the is the start of the Premier League fighting back against La Liga,” stated Neville, who is back in his role as a Sky pundit after a tough few months as a coach with Valencia and then England at Euro 2016.
“The Premier League has not been able to hang on to their best players, they were losing them all to Spain, but this is the signing of the summer and it is made by a Premier League club.
“We have some of the top managers in the world and we need the top players to follow.
“It is too much money for one player, I agree with that, but we are not going to stop this because the money in football is ridiculous.
“When you consider United are pulling in £120m-a-year on a couple of sponsorship deals, this Pogba deal works out at around £30-a-year, so it is nothing for them. It’s a lot of money, but not a lot in relative terms.”
Neville went on to back new United boss Jose Mourinho and summer signings Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Pogba to fire the club back to winning ways.
Souness says it how it is. Can't fathom why Utd are paying £100m for Pogba. An opinion shared by those who are sane. pic.twitter.com/eLiqSa2Oq7— LFC| Live News (@LFC_NEW5) August 8, 2016
“With Mourinho going there alongside Zlatan and Pogba, they will stick their shoulders out and have the strength of personality and character to play for Manchester United,” he added.
“It is important that United go back to signing players that befit the club, with dynamism and pace and it was important that they made a statement signing and they have done that this summer.
“It will be close between Man City and Man Utd to win the title this season, but I am just going for United to win it.”