It does not take much for a Serie A starlet to be put up in the meat market these days. Highlight reels of Paul Pogba on YouTube are being expanded to accommodate his growing feats at Juventus, and likewise the transfer links away from Turin just seem to become more audacious with every additional blockbuster he scores.
The prime cut in question is of course no longer the same unassuming, wide-eyed youngster who made his way to Vinovo for the first time in 2012. Blooded now at the top level for club and country, Pogba has become a force of nature at the centre of the action, the world his oyster as Juventus rush to secure the seed they planted with a contract extension.
Yet despite ongoing negotiations, Paris Saint-Germain and half of the Premier League continue to be linked, never mind that it will take an unworldly sum to prise the 20-year-old from his current owners. With Bianconeri President Andrea Agnelli admitting last October his outfit lack the financial clout to stave off determined bids in the exorbitant, greed-fuelled market climate of today, the lone voice of reason in this whole affair could be Pogba’s.
A sense of inevitability about the midfielder’s eventual departure might linger, but the time is not yet right to leave the side that has become his proving ground and will continue to serve as such. With Pogba in charge of his own future, whether he chooses to stay remains a question of priorities.
Europe’s elite may promise to cover him in wealth, but the daily stimulus of competing in a League with the strength in depth of Serie A is an experience money cannot buy. In a world where being as well-rounded as possible is commonly regarded as key to success, acquiring all the nuances of the League will have a far-reaching impact on his career, whether it lies in Italy or elsewhere.
Calling time on his Juventus stint halfway will almost certainly be a case of Pogba walking before being pushed. In the squad he already occupies a position of utmost trust in Antonio Conte’s mind. The Coach and luminaries like Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo constantly lavish him with the belief and faith he cited as missing when leaving former side Manchester United. Indebted as he is to his current surroundings, the starlet could do a lot worse than nurture his ambitions in an environment that has spurred him to believe in personal greatness from day one.
He is truly capable of clinching all the recognition and silverware before him with the Turin giants. Juventus are nearing the height of her powers - a competitive team with genuine ambitions, eager to cement their status as Italian champions and get back to the top of Europe, irrespective of the recent Champions League exit.
The club’s appetite for success mirrors Pogba’s desire to become the best in the world. With still so much to learn and achieve, committing his long-term future there would mean less of the French sensation placing a ceiling on his potential rather than working with Juventus to achieve their mutual objectives hand-in-hand.
Having proven to be a down-to-earth kid with his priorities in the right place so far, putting pen to paper on the extension Juve have reportedly proposed will seal a partnership that will pay dividends for all parties involved.
After setting the benchmark for what the new generation of young Serie A footballers can really begin aspiring to, Pogba’s next job will be getting down to serious winning with the club he was tailor-made for - one suspects he’ll be notching a few more sizzling strikes along the way.