A Move to Real Madrid Could Be the Best Option for Paul Pogba
Beneficial Move for Paul Pogba and Real Madrid
Real Madrid has spent over €300 million to recover from what was a dismal season. With Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Rodrygo Goes bolstering the forward line, the club must assume that it will make up the gap in goals left by Cristiano Ronaldo. In Benjamin Mendy and Éder Militao, they have strengthened an aging defense as well. The only missing piece is an all-action midfielder that can create from the middle of the park while being a presence in both boxes. Regardless of his off the field antics, no player in the world fits that job description better than Paul Pogba. This move could suit all parties.
In his latest press conference, while on international duty with France, Pogba claimed Real to be a “dream club”. He also considers Zinedine Zidane as his idol. The United midfielder has often been likened to the French legend in terms of his playing style as well.
Zidane preferred to start from the left of midfield just as Pogba does today, their touch is considered as the most important aspect of their game and both players are adored by the French public.
Pogba also fits the mold for the left-sided midfielder in a midfield three. The position brought the best out of him during his time in Turin with Juventus. This is in contrast to the double pivot employed heavily during his time at Manchester United. His lung-bursting runs into the box along with the ability to play penetrative passes for forwards fits perfectly into Madrid’s philosophy of direct, attacking football.
The only question is that of his mentality in adverse conditions. He was heavily criticized by the British media for ‘not giving his all’ as United fell out of the title race in the initial phase of the season itself. This tag won’t be easy shirk off, especially considering how hostile Madridistas can get when star players underperform. Pogba has one last shot at realizing his potential at the club level. Observing his character at the World Cup in Russia, he would know how important this move could be. And seeing the genuine interest that Zidane seems to have for him, Pogba must surely be motivated to impress under his hero if his move to the Bernabeu is indeed completed.
At the moment, Manchester United is arguably the most unstable club in Europe. No Sporting Director, an inexperienced head coach along with a disproportionate portfolio of players are only the beginning of problems at Old Trafford. The astronomical wages paid to Sanchez and Pogba have not helped either. Pogba was seen as a partial solution to a lot of this three years ago. United wanted to build a team around him but the lack of regular Champions League football has prevented United from signing genuine world-class players in their prime. This has led to Pogba being seen as the sole star of the team despite the expectation to carry a team from midfield being slightly unrealistic.
On analyzing the business they’ve done this summer, United seem to be adopting a fresh approach- concentrating on homegrown youth. They also need to stock up their midfield options as they’ve let go of Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera in the past 12 months. Selling Pogba would generate upwards of €100 million and free up the wage bill along with it. They could also enter into a swap deal with some of the midfielders that are on offer at Real with Isco, James Rodriguez and most notably Dani Ceballos looking out of favor with the head coach. Other players like Gareth Bale and Jesus Navas can also be looked at especially if Romelu Lukaku and David De Gea also set their hearts on moves elsewhere. United need an injection of youth but also some character and leadership. Letting go of Pogba can help them gain both and start afresh under Ole.
After no hopes of silverware and two managerial sackings, Real Madrid reappointed Zinedine Zidane as head coach. After overlooking the last couple of months, he realized that, much like United, Real needs an overhaul. And that has started, they’ve finally looked to replace Ronaldo with Hazard and Jovic. They’ve also looked towards younger players to replace the stalwarts of their three-peat in the Champions League. One of those could be Pogba for Modric.
Modric has looked like anything but the current Ballon d’Or holder since he won the award. This could be due to his exertions at the World Cup or the simple fact that age catches up with everyone. Even if he recovers and gets back to his best in the coming season, he won’t be around forever. Pogba seems like a perfect replacement. His dynamic, box-to-box style would compliment Toni Kroos and Casemiro perfectly. He would also fit in nicely in the fluid diamond that Zidane often uses where he could occupy multiple positions. There is also a significant French influence in the Madrid squad. This should help in facilitating a smooth integration of the player into the team for the world cup winner.
The only stumbling block for Madrid would be the price. United would not want to sell their most prized asset at a loss. That would mean another signing upwards of €100 million for Los Blancos. It would need some serious selling effort before Madrid can enter into talks with United. But it’s not impossible. Real has more than enough assets to sell with James, Bale, Isco, Navas, and Ceballos all being on the market. With the forward line and defense being stocked, Pogba could be the final piece of the Galactico 3.0 puzzle.