The Paul Pogba transfer saga is finally over, as the Frenchman completed his move back to Old Trafford on Monday after passing a medical. And he’s just the type of player that United need in order to become a dominant force in the Premier League once again.
The Red Devils broke a record, paying a whopping £89 million to Juventus, plus a substantial fee to Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola. The club didn’t let pride be a factor in the decision, as Pogba left the club on a free transfer back in 2012. After four straight Serie A titles with Juventus and one Champions League final appearance, he’s now back at Old Trafford where he got his schooling.
Pogba reminisced on his first stint at the club as he went back to the training facility in Carrington for his medical on Monday.
“When I first came, I remember when I was at the academy, they used come and drop us,” Pogba told MUTV. “I saw Warren Joyce, I remember the training we had with him, the changing room, the canteen where we eat. It is just the same and I was thinking about before. It was like a picture. It is something I cannot explain – it’s crazy.
“I just feel happy. There is no words, to be honest, no words – just happiness, and I just can’t wait to start playing with my new team. It doesn’t even look like it’s my new team – I just left this team and have just come back. It is just a great feeling to be honest.”
Pogba seems genuinely happy to be back at the club, and he’ll be given a totally different role this time around. As a youngster under Sir Alex Ferguson, Pogba had a difficult time cracking the first team as they were stacked in central midfield. Now Pogba will be one of the focal points of the team, and could become the new Paul Scholes. He’s already one of the world’s best at his position, and he still has room for improvement.
“He’s a very young player, an unbelievable midfield player with such physicality but, at the same time, such agility, co-ordination, skill,” Mourinho said of Pogba. “He has everything. What he has to learn now is how to play with us because I always say that in football you can be a super player, like he is, but a team is a team and you need to learn how to play in the team, and the team needs to learn how to play with you.
“We need to get the best out of him and this will be a process. So if he needs protection, I am here to protect. I know some people think that he arrives here now and, the first time he touches the ball, he scores, but I’m here to protect him and give him the best conditions to be what we think he is going to be, which is a football player for Man United, a reference for this club. I’m so happy.”
The signing also makes the team a clear contender for the title. United had already made some good signings this summer, bringing in Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to bolster the offense. But the return of Pogba is a statement made by United to the rest of the soccer world that they are determined to become one of the best teams in Europe once more.
Some may question if the fee was too hefty, but United are in a position where they can afford it. They just want to get their hands on the Premier League trophy and get back to the Champions League.