Transfer Target | Player Profile | Paul Pogba | Manchester United | Paris Saint-Germain | Chelsea
Name: Paul Pogba
Age: 20 years old
Most Recent Transfer Fee: Undisclosed (Believed to be around £7 million)
In December 2013, Paul Pogba was named the ‘Golden Boy‘ of European football. An award that is given to the stand out young player of the year by the journalistic fraternity, it shows how far Pogba has come in such a short period of time.
The French midfielder has been linked with moves to the English Premier League, with Manchester United and Chelsea showing an interest, as well as Ligue 1, with financial powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain ready to pounce. As one of the most sought after midfielders in the world, he has the pick of the clubs but why would he want to leave Juventus?
The 20 year old has been wowing Italian audiences since his low profile move from Manchester United back in 2012, gaining the reputation as one of the world’s best young players.
Pogba’s professional career started in the youth team at French side Le Havre in 2007. He captained their under-16 side and in the summer of 2009 he joined Manchester United, in a controversial transfer that resulted in Le Havre attempting to sue Manchester United over the dealings of the transfer. Over the next few seasons Pogba was part of the United youth team until he was promoted to the first team squad in 2011, finally making his first team debut against Leeds in the League Cup in September 2012.
Old Trafford to Turin
With limited appearances at Old Trafford, Pogba refused to sign a new deal with Manchester United, much to the dismay of Alex Ferguson. He eventually signed a pre contractual agreement to move to Turin to sign for Italian giants Juventus. Since his move to Italy, he has gone from being a squad player, mostly covering for the ageing Andrea Pirlo, to becoming one of Serie A’s top performers and is now gaining attention from some of Europe’s richest clubs, with Real Madrid and Chelsea seemingly willing to break the bank for the youngster.
Whilst at Manchester United, Ferguson seemed to play Pogba in a wide position but since his move to Turin Conte has got the best out of the French youngster. The Juventus manager first placed him in the Pirlo role as cover, but due to injuries and suspensions he was moved into a more advanced midfield role which produced fantastic results. Conte recently praised the youngster’s development,
“In comparison to last season, Paul is a different player. He grew on a tactical and technical level too,”
The Juventus manager sees huge things for the French midfield powerhouse in the future,
“I’ve read recently in an interview in which he said he wants to become the world’s strongest player. I’m happy for this. He must have these ambitions and be working for this because he has all the possibilities. But he must keep his feet on the ground and follow mine and his team-mates’ suggestions.”
His performances have also resulted in him being called up to the French national team, making his debut against Georgia in March 2013. Pogba has made seven appearances for France, becoming an integral part of the first team and receiving plenty of plaudits from the French public in the process. He also captained the French U20’s side on their way to winning the 2013 U20’s World Cup in Turkey.
The Complete Midfielder?
Pogba was in terrific form throughout the U-20 World Cup and went on to win the Golden Ball. He appeared miles ahead of every other player in the tournament, except the talented young Colombian Juan Fernando Quintero. If truth be told, it almost felt unfair for the other teams in the tournament that Pogba was playing, with his massive frame and physique meaning that he was able to brush aside challenges from any other player with total ease. It truly was a case of men against boys.
Pogba has a number of attributes that could see him become Europe’s most complete midfielders, with some are already saying that his performances for Juventus show he is in the top bracket already. A giant at 6ft 3 inches, he possesses incredible power and movement, however, despite being so tall and lanky he has the technique to match the most technically gifted players in Europe. To add to this, he also has the vision and eye for a killer pass that makes him so much more than just the typical powerful French midfielder. He has a terrific eye for goal, with a very decent 11 goals in 47 appearances for Juventus, and possesses a lethal long range shot, with November’s goal against Napoli and last season’s incredible curler against Udinese prime examples.
Vieira and Rijkaard Combined
Pogba is often compared to the legendary Patrick Vieira. However, I’d say if you took Patrick Vieira and Frank Rijkaard and placed them in the teleporter machine from the movie, The Fly, the result would be something like Mr Pogba himself. He is similar physique wise to both players, but seems to have the technique and creativeness of Rijkaard combined with the engine and strength of Patrick Vieira in his prime. Terrifying.
At only 20 years old it’s easy to get carried away about Paul Pogba and the fact that his career has only just begun. He wouldn’t be the first player that was touted for the big time but never lived up to expectations. However, it’s hard to think of another player the same age in the world that can be compared to the big man, and it almost seems that he is already in the bracket as one of the World’s best midfielders. Being a Juventus and France fanatic, I’ve been able to watch Pogba week-in, week-out for a year and a half now and I truly believe that he will become the world’s best midfielder AND a future Ballon D’or winner.
The scary thing is….he will only keep on improving.