Jose Mourinho has come out swinging following the signing of Paul Pogba. The transfer saga finally ended after constant speculation and several comments from Premier League managers regarding the reported world-record transfer fee. Among the managers to criticize the fee were Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger. Wenger called the price tag “madness” and Klopp showed concern saying, “If you bring one player in for £100 million or whatever, and he gets injured, then it all goes through the chimney.” Mourinho responded in world-class fashion by calling United more of a top club than its rivals.
“I know the discussion, I understand that, sometimes in football, things happen and the club breaks the record, but this is only possible at clubs like Man United.
“When I heard some of the comments and heard some of the managers criticising that, I don’t think they never have this problem because, to have this problem, you need to be at one of the top clubs in the world. So at Man United it can happen.”
Pogba’s fee is high but it is not insane. Mathematically, the fee does not heavily dent United’s revenue for the year, especially with jersey sales surely set to skyrocket. Pogba has not been signed to score like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, or Gareth Bale. Ronaldo and Bale were the two world-record transfer fees before Pogba, both signing with Real Madrid, which was linked with Pogba. Pogba brings some swagger and composure to United’s midfield with the potential of growing with the team for a long time to come. On a more positive note, Mourinho is excited to bring the Frenchman home to Old Trafford to cause havoc for United’s rivals.
“He’s a very young player, an unbelievable midfield player with such physicality but, at the same time, such agility, co-ordination, skill. He has everything.
“What he has to learn now is how to play with us because I always say that in football you can be a super player, like he is, but a team is a team and you need to learn how to play in the team, and the team needs to learn how to play with you.
“We need to get the best out of him and this will be a process. So if he needs protection, I am here to protect.
“I know some people think that he arrives here now and, the first time he touches the ball, he scores, but I’m here to protect him and give him the best conditions to be what we think he is going to be, which is a football player for Man United, a reference for this club. I’m so happy.”
Mourinho said he will protect Pogba if he needs protection, which he seems to have already done to a degree after defending his fee. Pogba coming back to United shows just how big the club is as a football team and as a brand. United, which will play in the UEFA Europa League and not the Champions League, was still able to lure Eric Bailly from Villarreal, Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund, Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a free, and Paul Pogba from Juventus. All four players could have been playing in the Champions League in the upcoming season but instead will be with United in the Europa League. United is the most powerful team in the world with one of the most powerful strikers in Ibrahimovic, one of the most powerful managers in Mourinho, and now one of the most powerful midfielders in Pogba. Mourinho has already seen the capabilities in Pogba this season for United.
“I can feel that when I speak with him for the first time. I’m feeling now when I see him at the training ground with people he knows since he was a kid. He doesn’t look like a star.
“He looks like a kid who is back to his old school and is finding people that he cares about and people that love him a lot.
“So I believe that, after a couple of days, he will feel like he never left the club. So I think at adaptation level, he’s not a new player – he’s just a kid back home again.”