In Focus: Deja Ju as Pogba heads for Turin on a free for the second time

Luke Bissett
LiveScore
21/06/202208:00
Paul Pogba will be looking to get his career back on track with Max Allegri’s Juventus next term
Paul Pogba will be looking to get his career back on track with Max Allegri’s Juventus next term

Paul Pogba is preparing to head to Juventus on a free transfer for the second time in a decade.

Six years after signing for Manchester United for a then-world record transfer fee of £89million, the midfielder will return to Turin.

It is a move he has made before, having also left Old Trafford for Juve in 2012.

As the Old Lady bid to return to Serie A's summit, we assess Pogba's impending arrival at the Allianz Stadium.

Manchester misery

It has been a tumultuous stint in Manchester for Pogba, with his time in the North West hampered by injuries and dips in form.

As a result, the Paris native has often been made a scapegoat for the Red Devils' disappointing last few seasons.

United have failed to win the Premier League since Alex Ferguson's departure in 2013 — and they only narrowly scraped a sixth-place finish in 2021-22.

Pogba's decision to leave for free at the end of his contract epitomises the club's recent struggles on and off the pitch.

Juventus will hope to make the most of Paul Pogba’s obvious ability when he returns to Turin
Juventus will hope to make the most of Paul Pogba’s obvious ability when he returns to Turin

Pogba proposal

United were keen to retain Pogba, despite being unable to agree terms with the World Cup winner.

That was made clear in the recent 'Pogmentary', during an exchange between the 91-cap international and his former agent Mino Raiola.

Raiola said: "They absolutely want you to stay. For me, the offer doesn't reflect that. I told them, 'If you want him to stay, don't make that offer'.

"I will make them understand that if they really want you to stay and they want to build a project around you, this time they have to act differently and put the money on the table."

Pogba then responded: "They're bluffing. How can you tell a player you absolutely want him and offer him nothing? Never seen that.

"My thought process is to show Manchester United that they made a mistake in waiting to give me a contract."

Playmaker Paul

Pogba possesses a remarkable combination of physical and technical attributes.

Though he stands at 6ft 3in tall, the 29-year-old has ultra-quick feet and ranked 10th for completed take-ons (2.59) per 90 minutes in the Premier League last term.

Regardless of his limited minutes last season, the Frenchman boasted a commendable nine assists — the joint-seventh most in the division.

Paul Pogba was a key creative figure when on the pitch for Manchester United last season
Paul Pogba was a key creative figure when on the pitch for Manchester United last season

Positional problem

There have been question marks over Pogba's best position throughout his time in M16.

United's departing No6 has been deployed across the midfield by various managers, with his performances in a double pivot often coming under fire.

But Pogba's previous spell at Juve embodied his strengths as a midfielder. Alongside two hard-working partners, he was afforded the freedom to grab games by the scruff of the neck.

The Red Devils rarely utilised a system that got the most from their £89m man.

Paul Pogba often played a more defensive role for Manchester United in 2021-22
Paul Pogba often played a more defensive role for Manchester United in 2021-22

Turin transfer

Max Allegri's Juventus side have been crying out for a creative addition in midfield, with the Bianconeri's engine room remaining their Achilles' heel.

The Old Lady's current group is somewhat workmanlike, often leaving substantial gaps between the team's central players and their forward line.

Pogba boasts the athleticism to transform defence into attack, which should give the Turin outfit a new lease of life.

After promising so much, Pogba's Old Trafford return was largely underwhelming — but his second spell at Juve could be far more fruitful.

Tags

JuventusManchester UnitedPaul PogbaSerie APremier League
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