Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has been hailed as the ideal gift for new manager Andrea Pirlo after he replaced Maurizio Sarri as the manager of the club after the chain smoker was sacked by the club after their UEFA Champions League exit at the hands of Lyon last week. Pirlo, a club legend will be seeking to put his own touch on the club, aiming to retain the Serie A title next season and pushing for the Champions League once again.
Luca Toni reckons that the United midfielder would be the perfect gift for Pirlo at the club. The Frenchman spent four years at Juventus from the summer of 2012, when they signed the player, a free agent after leaving United. Just four years later, United paid £89 million to re-sign the midfielder under the management of Jose Mourinho. In his first season back at United, the club lifted the EFL Cup and the UEFA Europa League, of which Pogba could win for the second time with United reaching the semi-final after beating FC Copenhagen 1-0 on Monday evening. Speaking to Tuttosport and reported by The Mirror, Toni said:
“Knowing Andrea, he will start building from midfield. The ideal gift would be Pogba. I don’t know if that’s possible, but it would certainly be the best option.
“Andrea will not be a coach who focuses on defending and counter-attacking. He loves to dominate the ball and will want to impose that on his team.
“I don’t know what system he will use and I don’t think it matters. Andrea is intelligent and flexible.”
Pogba was linked with an exit from United last summer after stating that he wanted a new challenge and was promptly linked with a return to Juventus with Real Madrid also interested in the player. However, this summer, the coronavirus pandemic could be something that stops Pogba from leaving and there has been many reports suggesting that Bruno Fernandes’ arrival has excited the player has apparently done a U-turn and now wants to stay at the club, although nothing has been confirmed by the club or the player. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels that Pogba’s future lies in Manchester though. Speaking ahead of the 1-0 victory over FC Copenhagen, The Sun reported the manager as saying:
“Since coming back from injury he has been a delight. He has worked really hard, he is happy and he is playing well.
“We are going to see the best of Paul in the next couple of seasons, I’m sure. And I’m looking forward to seeing him grow with this team.
“He will have to be one of the leaders, one of the main figures, because he is just coming to his peak time as a footballer at 27. I am really looking forward to working with him.”
This season has been a mixed one for Pogba with him spending a lot of time on the sidelines with two separate ankle injuries, one of which required surgery keeping him out of action throughout the Christmas period and into the New Year. The coronavirus pandemic then hit, giving the player there months to recover before the season resumed and he returned agains Tottenham Hotspur, winning the penalty which United earned a 1-1 draw from. The Frenchman has played just 21 times this season, scoring one goal and four assists. His contract is set to expire in the summer of 2021, although there is an option for another year to be added. United would like to extend the player’s contract though.
Written by John Walker