With all the rumours surrounding his exit, is it finally time for Manchester United to cut their losses and let Paul Pogba leave?
Since signing for Manchester United four years ago, Paul Pogba has been the source of ever-present criticism. Sometimes it’s for unnecessary things, such as his haircuts or social media presence, sometimes it’s for comments from his agent or national team manager. And sometimes it is simply for his poor performances.
Once again, he is under scrutiny. This time, it has been sparked by comments by France national manager Didier Deschamps, speaking to RMC Sport:
“Like all players who don’t have a positive situation in their club, they’re impacted mentally as well. I know him well enough. It can happen at some point, to anyone.”
Pogba has not had the strongest start to the season, being outshone by stand-out performer Bruno Fernandes, as well as Scott McTominay and Fred, both putting in good performances when given the chance.
Many had thought Pogba would shine during the international break, proving to his club that he deserved a starting place when the Premier League resumed. However, this not been the case. France shockingly lost 2-0 against 55th FIFA ranked Finland, with the midfielder on the pitch.
The Frenchman did not help his case with United either with his most recent comments. As reported by Sky Sports, he said:
“[Playing with France] it’s like a window that opens up. It’s a breath of fresh air when you come here. We have a truly fantastic squad. When we come here, we’re all happy.”
Obviously, it is not unnatural that Pogba likes to play for his national team, especially when he’s faced so much criticism playing for the Red Devils. Former United players have publicly come out and criticised him. The names of Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Roy Keane come to mind.
Recently, former United defender Paul Parker came out and changed his opinion on Pogba. In the past, he’s been vocal in his support of the Frenchman and believed Jose Mourinho was wrong to single out the midfielder in the manner that he did. However, after a lacklustre beginning to the season, Parker believes it is time for United to cut their losses on the midfielder. As reported by Talk of the Devils, he said:
“I’ve tried to make excuses for him, that he should only plat at the top of a diamond so that he’s not affecting play further back. Don’t let play in midfield where he could lose it and we get counter-attacked. Just keep him in the final third where his quick feet could make things happen… but I was thinking to myself that he could become a liability, and he has become a liability.”
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Four years after purchasing Pogba, it seems like there will be a time, either in the summer or January, where Manchester United either decide to cut their losses and sell up or they decide it’s all or nothing and continue to try and fit him into the team.
However, since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes almost a year ago, it seems Pogba is no longer the midfield fan favourite. People have warmed to the Portuguese star since he arrived, the lack of drama he brings seems to have struck a preferential chord within the fanbase.
With Pogba’s popularity reducing and Real Madrid and Juventus’ continued interest in buying him, maybe Manchester United need to realise that their story with the Frenchman isn’t going to have a fairy tale ending. No matter how hard they try. It is time to move the midfielder on.