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Tuesday July 23 2019
What if Pogba had stayed at Juve?

Paul Pogba could’ve become the world’s top midfielder and guided Juventus to the Champions League if he’d stayed, argues Anthony Barbagallo.

While Juve continues to make star signings and acquire the game’s starlets, it seems as though Maurizio Sarri’s squad still needs one more colossal purchase in the midfield area. Securing Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey on free transfers seem to be savvy signings on paper, but is it enough for the Bianconeri to go all the way in Europe?

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been on the Juve radar for the last couple of transfer windows, but the midfielder that nearly every Juventino craves is Paul Pogba.

The Manchester United star has not had the best of times in the Premier League ever since he moved to England back in 2016. The fans of the Red Devils have only seen glimpses of Pogba’s footballing qualities – consistency being the element the 26-year-old has lacked.

Pogba’s club career has so far been a tale of two sides. So what could’ve transpired if the World Cup winner hadn’t left Juventus for England’s top flight three seasons ago?

First of all, we’re betting Pogba’s career would have continued to accelerate while wearing the Bianconeri stripes. The 2013 Golden Boy award winner learnt from some of the very best midfielders in modern-day football. Several of the playmaking skills were taught by Andrea Pirlo – one of the most elegant midfielders to have ever graced the Calcio scene. Playing alongside Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio also helped the French international finesse skills and learn how to utilise his strength to fend off opponents.

Pogba took his game to the next level when Massimiliano Allegri became the new Juve boss in 2014. The attacking midfielder was pivotal in the Old Lady’s run to the Champions League Final in the 2014-15 season, especially in the two semi-final legs against Real Madrid. Juve may have fallen short against Barcelona in Berlin, but Pogba’s presence in midfield was likely propelling the Bianconeri to future domestic and continental success.

When Paulo Dybala left Palermo for Juventus ahead of the 2015-16 Serie A season, Pogba played a crucial role in bringing the best out of the dazzling Argentinian. The talented youngsters became a lethal duo in the Juve attack – collecting a combined 21 assists.

Pogba’s playmaking skills also helped Dybala flourish up front, with the latter scoring 19 goals and finishing second in the goalscoring charts. If Pogba hadn’t left the 35-time Scudetto winners, then Dybala would have performed more consistently over these last three seasons. The pair complemented each other on the football pitch – entertaining numerous Juventini through their charismatic style of play. 

The 2017 Champions League Final in Cardiff could have potentially had a different outcome and winner if Pogba stayed on with the Turin side. After Juve were decimated 4-1 by Real Madrid, it was evident that a midfield of Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanic wasn’t going to outperform Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro.

By selling Pogba, the Juventus midfield took a gigantic step back in terms of attacking quality. Pjanic may be an intelligent playmaker, however, Juve could have used Pogba’s strength, vision, dribbling and shooting technique in Cardiff to end their frustrating European drought.

Selling Pogba for over €100m back in 2016 might’ve seemed like incredible business at the time, considering he was purchased from Manchester United as a free agent, but in hindsight wasn’t such a bright idea. The Turin giants have since failed to replace Pogba with a midfielder of his calibre – consequently punishing the Scudetto holders in recent Champions League campaigns.

Even more importantly, it was a huge error for Pogba. He returned to the club that let him leave as a free agent, breaking transfer records and becoming a media lightning rod. The pressure was immense, he clashed repeatedly with Jose Mourinho and was pilloried in the papers for not living up to the over-the-top hype.

If Pogba had stayed with the club that believed in him rather than stormed off to earn more at a side that was never entirely convinced, it could’ve been a very different career path for the Frenchman.

Have your say...
It is really frustrating to ready the anti Juve rubbish from other supporters. Dario, you are only as good as your last season. I take it Inter is your team? Juve won the scudetto, how did your team fair? If you want to look at the past and keep living your treble fantasy, let's compare scudetti/coppa italia's won.

Give the treble a rest!
on the 1st August, 2019 at 4:26am
Mino Raiola his agent? Means the player is greedy. Just look at the money they pocket! De Ligt transfer and now Kean. juBentus does business with these kind of people, but no matter how much they pay they will never win The Treble.
on the 30th July, 2019 at 3:35pm
Pogba could have also joined Real (The white House as he called it), instead he chose money over happiness! Greed!
on the 26th July, 2019 at 12:44pm
Yes nicist thats why juve is purchasing all these expensive players, so they can pay them and the refs. Juve must be the richest club in the world. Hahaahha and let me guess? They pay the refs in the cl until they reach the final then somehow dont pay to actually win. Yes this all makes perfect sense. If you are an insane idiot.
on the 26th July, 2019 at 12:19am
If Pogba had stayed, he would have won easy serie a titles, but zero in europe. We all know with the fair referee's in europe are ruining it for Juve. In serie a, they always get help from ref's when they need it. In CL, it doesn't happen, thats why they never win outsite italy.
on the 25th July, 2019 at 9:53pm
It's too bad I was hoping Sarri would try Dybala as false 9. Something similar to how he was playing Hazard at Chelsea. The interplay between Hazard and Giroud was exquisite and hence why they did win the EL. One thing is for sure if they sell Dybala they "need" to improve the midfield. I'm sorry but Pjanic alone is not going to get u the CL.
on the 25th July, 2019 at 4:18am
With Neymar and Pogba, Juventus will beat the shiiiiiit out of Messi.
on the 24th July, 2019 at 10:23am
We should be going for M Savic. Use the money from Dybala's potential sale to get him.
on the 24th July, 2019 at 9:35am
Despite soo much info being available on Pogba, people on this thread are acting like 12-year old numbnuts.

Like Anonymous - he says Pogba was sold, Juve cashed in bla bla.

Conveniently forgetting that Pogba hired Mino Raiola, and allowed clauses and what not to be inserted to be able to leave Juventus. Juventus knew that we cannot keep a money-minded agent's puppet for long, so we sold him at the bombastic price.

Stop being a little prissy douche and grow up.
on the 24th July, 2019 at 5:00am
not 100% sure Sarri absolutely must play 4-3-3.
At Napoli, he wanted to play 4-3-1-2 with Insgine as trequartista.
When that did not work, it was the players who persuaded him to change to 4-3-3.
It was also by pure look he eventually tried Mertens as a 'false 9' striker after the injury to Milik and him taking over a minth to figure out Gabbiadini was not the answer.

I think Sarri wouod change his philosophy in estremis.

Will be a very interesting season at Rube for sure.
on the 24th July, 2019 at 12:16am
Its sadly ironic. Pogba flourishes in a 3 man midfield. He leaves Juve who played 3 in the middle to join Mourinho at United who plays a 2. Juves replacements now play better in a 2-man midfield and theyve hired a coach who plays 4-3-3 - lets not forgot allegri idiotic 4-3-3. Even if it would suit all parties involved, the notion of Juve buying back back a player who is a fraction of the youth player they signed, for more money they received for him is ridiculous. Let him rot in Manchester.
on the 23rd July, 2019 at 11:22pm
The Clown would've turned him into a back-left.
on the 23rd July, 2019 at 7:15pm
There seems to be a false narrative here concerning Pogba's move to ManU. First, he didn't want to go too ManU. Juve simply cashed in on a player they brought in for free. He didn't "storm off" to a side to get paid more. Clearly, if Juve wanted to pay him, then could've but instead cashed out on his value. Secondly, a lot is being written about his offense. While he is extremely talented moving forward, his defense and bossing of the midfield compares to nobody else in the world
on the 23rd July, 2019 at 4:17pm
Had pogba stayed the midfields that was build of pirlo vidal & pogba co. would have lived through him. As when chielleni would call it time the sacred defence monumental will die as well. Forfeiting pogba to real should seemed atleast acceptable; not to post ferguson era man utd!!!
on the 23rd July, 2019 at 3:18pm
I believe Pogba would be a perfect fit for this new Juve midfield. His characteristics perfectly align with Sarri ball. It would be a very real shame to possibly lose Dybala but unfortunately we cant keep everyone. The books need to balance so it all comes down to that at the end. Sounds unlikely Pjanic will be sold and not enough finance generated from selling Khedira, Matuidi, Cuadrado and Mandzukic. Higuain & possibly Kean will be traded for Icardi. Either Dybala or Kean will be for sold :(
on the 23rd July, 2019 at 12:58pm
Man Utd reportedly looking for €150m+ for a player who has significantly regressed under their ownership is farcical and is creating a self inflicting problem for both Pogba and Utd. The club likes to blame him, or at least not support him when things go wrong and a very vocal portion of Utd fans want to get rid of him. If a club is willing to pay Utd what they paid for him originally they should let him go. Not everything works out. If Juve do spend on Pogba it surely means the end of Dybala
on the 23rd July, 2019 at 12:39pm
It was Pogba who wanted to go back to MU, more than Juve wanting to sell him. In the end, they both chased $.
on the 23rd July, 2019 at 11:51am
They still wouldn't have won anything outside Italy because as we all know on a level playing field, things differ.
on the 23rd July, 2019 at 11:20am
The main problem with Rubentus in CL is they don't have what it takes to win it while they're given a chance to.
Didn't they win all their CL trophies thru penalties and I'm sure the 1st one was debatable due to Heysel tragedy, google it, it's all there.
Zidane might've won WC & European Cup with France while playing for Rubentus, but he left coz he wanted to win UCL.
So, Rubentus can buy all the big names they can but they'll never win UCL if they don't have the mentality. Or a bit of luck.
on the 23rd July, 2019 at 11:16am
Pogba was absent in Juve-Real first leg back in 2015 due to injury
on the 23rd July, 2019 at 11:14am
Pogba has never been a true Champions league player in the knockout stage, Just look at the Juve run to the CL final 2015, Pogba was injured from the second leg against Dortmund resulting in him missing against Monaco (quarter-final) and Real (Semi-final), interestingly Sturaro played amazingly in Pogba's place, Then pogba was back in final …

And just look at how he played against PSG last season for MU.
on the 23rd July, 2019 at 10:28am
..not all bad for Pogba, he did win the World Cup whilst at Manchester. It's near imoossible to replace a midfield that reads Pogba, Pirlo and Vidal. Juve should have kept both Pogba and Vidal.
on the 23rd July, 2019 at 10:24am
100% correct. But we couldn't turn down that ridiculous price from Man Utd. However, we should have replaced him properly. I love Pogba, but I don't think he should return. Players (and coaches, for that matter) never do well when they return.
on the 23rd July, 2019 at 10:15am
I actually think juve should do a swap for Dybala and Pogba with man utd. even with rabiot I still think this juve midfield is weak. I also question how Dybala will fit into Sarri 433. I think juve needs to do this swap.
on the 23rd July, 2019 at 9:53am

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