Former Manchester United right-back and captain Gary Neville believes that Paul Pogba is “one real world-class player” and that he can become a legend at the Old Trafford club if he stays loyal to the club. It is expected that Pogba will leave the club, whether it be this summer, next summer or the summer after – if his sixth year is added to his contract.
Last summer, the French World Cup winner spoke about wanting a new challenge, which did not happen for him last summer and so far this season, his new challenge was remaining fit after a series of ankle injuries kept him out of action. He made his ninth appearance for the club against Tottenham Hotspur on Friday evening.
When he has played for the club this season, it seemed as if his heart was not in it but it could have been the ankle injury he was carrying that falsely showed that, however, the jury will be out on his performances for the remainder of the season. He did well on Friday against Spurs and many, including myself, will be hoping that he gives his best this week.
Pogba has many fans amongst the clubs supporters, some of them will find any excuse to praise him, including suggesting the people that do not value him being racist, which is probably not the case. However, that being said, him putting his heart out there and showing that he wants to be a part of the club, moving forward, would be good to see.
His partnership with Bruno Fernandes, who arrives at the club during the January transfer window is something that many are waiting to see, getting a glimpse of it against Spurs in the 1-1 draw, with Fernandes scoring the penalty that Pogba won in the 81st minute of the match. It is hoped that Fernandes and Pogba will start on Wednesday. Neville, talking on his podcast about Pogba and his commitment, said:
“There’s no doubt that a committed Paul Pogba to Manchester United can be a great player. His assists, his goals, are good. They’ve been very good in the last couple of seasons.
“He’s up there with some of the very best in his position in Europe. It’s just the case of settling down.
“Hopefully with the economic problems around Europe, teams won’t be able to go out and spend £80, £90 or £100 million on new players, Manchester United will keep him and Paul Pogba will understand that he’s staying at Manchester United.
“That’s all I’ve ever asked of Paul Pogba, just commitment. His performances, I’ve never blamed him for Manchester United’s problems over the years.
“I do believe he’s the one real world-class player – David de Gea I would have said two years ago – in Manchester United’s squad.
“He’s the one who should be leading from the front, and if there’s continuous speculation over his future it isn’t helpful, it creates doubt in the dressing room.
“Now, I feel there’s a better chance of that team really succeeding, and I think they’ll play at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, and there won’t be any doubt that he’ll play with Bruno Fernandes.”
Pogba was linked to Real Madrid last summer and there were reports to suggest that United turned down an offer of James Rodriguez and £27.6 million for the Frenchman, which was a bit of an insult. I don’t understand why clubs like Madrid and Juventus feel that teams like United should be accepting of their failed players as part payment.
Gone are the days of United playing games like this with other clubs and if these clubs want to offer players as part payment, let United choose which ones, rather than the ones that have failed. It is suggested that Juventus are interested in re-signing Pogba and reports have linked the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot and others moving the other way.
United are a much bigger club that these clubs think and despite being on poor times with them not challenging for a league title for seven years now, even in the season they came second to Manchester City, albeit 19 points adrift, it was not a title challenge. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to change that and fodder from other clubs will add more problems, not solve them.