Paul Pogba is done at Manchester United but Where Should He Go
Tuesday’s match against Liverpool may have been the last time we will see Paul Pogba play for Manchester United as he suffered a season ending calf injury.
Pogba had to be substituted after only 10 minutes of play with Liverpool already leading 1-0 and was replaced by Jesse Lingard. The injury will keep him out of action for roughly a month meaning that he will be unable to play in any of Manchester United’s final five matches. This may have been the last match for the French international at Manchester United as his contract is set to end this summer making him free to transfer anywhere he so wishes.
In 27 matches across all competitions in the 2021-22 season, Pogba has managed a single goal to go with nine assists and nine cards (eight yellows, one red) in his worst season since the 2019-20 season in which he played 22 matches and had one goal. To his defense Pogba has missed over a dozen matches this season due to a hamstring issue.
With another injury setback and an expiring contract it seems to be the right time for Pogba to leave Manchester in search of a new challenge. He has spent the last six seasons at Manchester United making 226 appearances for the Red Devils while scoring 39 goals and 51 assists. This was his second term at Manchester United following a spell from 2009 to 2012 in which he was part of the academy and made three senior appearances. Beside Manchester United the only other team that Pogba has played for at the senior level was Juventus where he managed 34 goals and 40 assists in 178 appearances between 2012 and 2016.
Juventus is one of the three teams that I could very well see Pogba move to over the summer. I doubt that Pogba will want to go play for a team not set to win now and a return to Juventus would make sense. Juventus is a team that is looking to return to the top of Italy’s Serie A after Inter Milan ended their run of nine consecutive league titles last season. They finished fourth in the 2020-21 season and currently sit in the position this season. Pogba plays as a center midfielder and would be an upgrade over the current center mids, Weston McKennie and Adrien Rabiot.
Pogba has had success winning at Juventus in the past having won the Serie A title four times and the Coppa Italia twice.
Another team that has expressed an interest in signing Pogba in the past is Real Madrid. The Spanish giants have their eyes set on bringing Kylian Mbappe to Madrid over the summer, but adding Pogba would also be a good move. With the contract of Luka Modric set to expire this summer, Pogba would be a great option to replace the former Ballon d’Or winner if they choose not to re-sign him. Even if Modric was to remain in Spain, Pogba would still be a top three or four midfielder for Real Madrid and add more depth to the likely winners of this season’s La Liga.
The final team that I could see signing Pogba is the French side Paris Saint-Germain. The French international would be playing in his home country for the first time since 2009 when he was in the youth academy for Le Havre. If Mbappe was to leave then PSG would have a surplus of cash to spend and Pogba would be a good target to bring in to help a somewhat lackluster midfield group. Marco Veratti leads the group of midfielders, but after him the best talent is probably Georginio Wijnaldum or Pogba’s former Manchester United teammate Ander Herrera. Despite a rough season, I would still rather have Pogba on a team than either Wijnaldum or Herrera as he can still be a difference-maker that PSG may need to finally win the UEFA Champions League.
The next time we see Paul Pogba step on the pitch he could be playing anywhere, but one thing for sure is that he probably will not be wearing the red of Manchester United when he does.
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