Will he stay or will he go? That’s been the question for months regarding Paul Pogba. One thing’s for sure: whatever the outcome will be, the football world will show signs of relief. This transfer saga has been going on for so long, with so many chapters written, that it has turned into a source of frustration for everyone involved and everyone interested.
“Paul Pogba will join Manchester United in the next 48 hours.” That’s the story of this week. But it was a story before, so a bunch of fans have just given up and are waiting for Ed Woodward, Beppe Marotta, Mino Raiola or Pogba himself to announce ‘The Decision’. Pogba wearing a LeBron James jersey on vacation in the Unites States did have a meaning…
Of course, there’s always some news outlet that will exaggerate a random Instagram post by the France international, who has also added fuel to the rumours by remaining very silent on the matter and sometimes posting mysterious stuff on his social media accounts.
The fact is: no one knows what Pogba wants except for Pogba. However, whatever his choice will be, the Old Lady will benefit from it. If he leaves, Juve will have a record amount to spend on a couple of quality replacements. If he stays, Juve will be able to pair Pogba with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Miralem Pjanic, alongside Paulo Dybala.
When talking purely about football, it would be pretty foolish for the 23-year-old to leave the club that has put so much faith in him. The Bianconeri even handed him the iconic number 10 last summer, making him the face of the franchise. A decade after being relegated to Serie B, Juventus are back at the top of the football world and ready to launch an assault on the Champions League, the one trophy that has escaped them since 1996.
Juve’s ambition has been so outspoken that it seemingly has become their second nature. Coach Max Allegri can’t stop mentioning it, while every new signing talked about being in Turin to win the cup with the big ears, from Higuain to Pjanic and even Marko Pjaca. This ambition strokes with Pogba’s, who also has a big desire to win the Ballon d’Or, a feat he could accomplish at Juve next season.
However, it’s hard to ignore cold, hard cash. Even with Pogba having zero financial troubles, getting paid three times as much as you are at the moment is tempting. In addition, the midfielder has some scores to settle at Old Trafford, as the club let him leave for free four years ago. It is true that it remains his first home…
Still, United don’t play Champions League football next season, meaning Pogba would join a team that’s starting a new cycle. On a club level, he’ll be back to 2012, when Juve were just getting started. Again, football-wise it would make zero sense for the Frenchman to leave.
And then, there’s the pressure. Pogba will be the most expensive footballer on the planet. Every move he makes will be analysed and every mistake will be noticed, especially in England. Like with Gareth Bale, whatever Pogba does, it will never be enough. Ever. That’s the cruelty of the whole story.
At Juventus, he is the man, while playing in a system and position that suits him perfectly. At United, everything remains to be seen. Pogba is a gamer, meaning he would accept the challenge, but does he really want all the trouble that comes with it?
Here’s how Juventus should do it: talk Pogba into staying for two more seasons. In 2018, Gigi Buffon and Andrea Barzagli will retire, hopefully with a Champions League under their belts, while Pogba has won it all. If he wants to leave then, do everything in your power to sell him for the best offer available. Because, does anyone really believe that in two years, the big offers won’t come for Pogboom?
All things considered, it’s logical for Paul Pogba to remain at Juventus for just a little while. But in football, logic often isn’t the guideline.