Tuesday 23 January 2018

Seven reasons why Manchester United should not sign Paul Pogba

France's midfielder Paul Pogba acknowledges the fans after France lost to Portugal
France's midfielder Paul Pogba acknowledges the fans after France lost to Portugal

The Paul Pogba to Manchester United rumour rumbles on but here are seven reasons why Jose Mourinho should NOT sign the Frenchman.

£100m should get you more than Pogba gives

Pogba is capable of the truly sublime. He can produce moments of such jaw-dropping brilliance that it really is a wonder how he ever slipped through the net at Old Trafford.

That said, even if money really is no object for United, for upwards of £50m you should really be looking more goals than Pogba can provide.

Granted, prices have risen in the last few years and will only continue to do so, but Pogba is not at the level of Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, nor Luis Suarez, Neymar or Gareth Bale in terms of his ability to win matches and trophies almost single-handedly.

You can get more bang for your buck than Pogba provides.

Where is he going to fit in?

When given the licence to get forward and attack, Paul Pogba is an absolutely sensational footballer. When he is asked to defend and try to dictate play from deep, he is vastly less effective.

In the Euro 2016 final defeat to Portugal, Pogba sat in front of the defence and sprayed the odd impressive diagonal but rather remained on the periphery of the game. His impact was severely limited and he looked far from the most valuable player on the planet.

Along with Jose Mourinho's recent assertion that Wayne Rooney would not be playing in midfield anytime soon, a space in an attacking position may be hard to come for Pogba.

“Maybe he is not a striker, not a No. 9 anymore but for me he will never be a No. 6, playing 50 metres from the goal," Mourinho said of Rooney. "For me he will be a 9, a 10, a nine-and-a-half but never a 6 or even an 8.”

With Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial also vying for limited spots, Pogba may have to compromise the best aspects of his game.

There is value out there

Contrary to the views of Arsene Wenger and the many fans that only want Galacticos signed, there really is value out there.

Just look at Leicester City with N'Golo Kante and Jamie Vardy. Just look at West Ham with Dimitri Payet. There are plenty more examples out there.

Why not utilise the vast resources available to you at Old Trafford and do some research to uncover the next big thing? He might even work out to be better than Pogba...

The transfer would draw unnecessary attention

United could do without attracting the attention that a world record signing would bring. They have been ridiculed in recent years for some of their business - the deals for Memphis Depay, Angel Di Maria and Falcao are just three of their most expensive flops - and there is no need to add further pressure to the squad.

The scrutiny on this team, at the biggest club in England, with one of the biggest egomaniacs in football at the helm, could be unbearable, so why ask for trouble by making Pogba the most expensive signing in history?

This is Mourinho's chance to promote youth...finally

Louis van Gaal didn't do a great deal right at Old Trafford, but one aspect of his reign that cannot be criticised is his eagerness to give young players a chance. How satisfying has it been to see Marcus Rashford emerge and Timothy Fosu-Mensah given a chance?

Mourinho claimed at his first press conference as manager that he has helped 49 players make the jump from youth level to senior team, but that list includes names such as Lenny Pidgeley, John Swift and Hugo Luz.

Mourinho could use this as a chance to prove his doubters wrong and really invest some time and effort in youth. Instead it looks like he will once again ignore academy football.

He didn't have a great Euros

Pogba dug out a decent cross that led to Antoine Griezmann's second goal against Germany and scored a towering header against Iceland. Otherwise, what telling impact did he have at Euro 2016?

He made plenty of passes and certainly played his part, but he probably hasn't come out of the tournament with his reputation enhanced. In fact, he is arguably worth less than he was a month ago.

Zlatan is a big enough character

Mourinho likes to make a signing each summer that will shake things up and put pressure on the existing players to improve their game. For that, you need a big character - but they don't come much bigger than a player he has already signed in Ibrahimovic.

Let him shake the dressing room up. That will be more than enough.


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