The Paul Pogba transfer saga has finally come to its closure. £89 million the agreed fee, yes that’s right, £89 MILLION! , £89,000,000!
Pogba returns to Old Trafford after leaving the club for free four years ago… during that time, Pogba has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the world ,being chased by the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona. It is his former side, however, that he has re-joined for a hefty price tag.
Whilst at Old Trafford, the Frenchman has publicly stated in recent times that he felt neglected and disrespected by Sir Alex Ferguson during his spell. Not given any game time to prove himself, forced to train with the youth side, or even alone. It is undeniable that he boasts certain assets which would only benefit a side. His key qualities are his shooting ability, power in midfield, and skill.
However, is he really worth all the money that was paid for his services?
Yes, I believe he is extremely overpriced and Manchester United have been utterly duped in this transfer in terms of payment. In 2012 Pogba was let go for nothing (with the exception of the tribunal fee, £800,000) and now four years down the line has been returned home for nearly £90 million! This of course makes him the world’s most expensive player ever. If you compare him to other names on the list, I’m not convinced his quality justifies his place.
- Paul Pogba, Juventus- Manchester United: £89 Million (2016)
- Gareth Bale, Tottenham- Real Madrid – £85 Million (2013)
- Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United- Real Madrid- £80 Million (2009)
- Gonzalo Higuain, Napoli- Juventus: £75.6 Million (2016)
- Luis Suarez, Liverpool- Barcelona: £75 Million (2014)
- Neymar, Santos- Barcelona: £71.5 Million (2013)
- James Rodriguez, Monaco- Real Madrid: £63 Million (2014)
Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez, and Neymar are all collectively standout performers for their sides, with what in common? They are all goal scorers! The only exception being James Rodriguez. When paying such a hefty fee you would expect to be buying someone who will contribute week in week out. Perfect examples of this are Ronaldo, Suarez, Neymar and Bale who score goals for fun in La Liga. In all competitions last season MSN (Messi, Suarez, and Neymar) scored a stupendous 131 goals in 151 games between them, not to mention grabbing 65 assists also. Does Paul Pogba bring the same kind of high level performance?
Paul Pogba’s Juventus Stats:
34 goals and 32 assists are numbers which Messi and Ronaldo achieve and better each season… Paul Pogba has managed this in four seasons… He has the potential to be world class, but at this moment in time he lacks the qualities to live up to such an outrageous fee. When paying all this money, you pay for someone who more often than not gets goals, as shown with the players on the list. With Pogba you’re not getting that; a midfielder doesn’t have the same impact on the game that a striker can, which is usually why clubs spend heavily on forwards.
After such a torrid time during his first spell with the Red Devils, it has come as somewhat of a shock to many that he has decided to return! Why did he choose Manchester United? He has just left a club which has an extremely balanced and strong side with guaranteed champions league football, and looks certain to win the league for an outstanding 6th time in a row, to join a side with Europa League and no guarantee of a 1st place finish. Jose Mourinho may well be one of the factors that have swayed him to come back, or he may simply wish to prove himself after an unsuccessful stint which previously saw him only play 7 games.
At one point, Real Madrid was the front runner to grab the signature of the French international and many thought he would go there. Madrid is known for buying a “Galáctico” each year in the summer transfer window, which is a big money signing of a world superstar. Pogba certainly would have fitted the bill, leaving Florentino Perez rubbing his hands with delight: however, it wasn’t to be.
An interesting statistic shows how Real Madrid has broken the world transfer fee every time recently. Manchester United are now able to join the list alongside Madrid and Lazio.
Hernan Crespo’s £35.5m move to Lazio from Italian rivals Parma in 2000 was the last time a club other than Real Madrid broke the world record for a football transfer fee.
- 2013 – Gareth Bale £85m (Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid)
- 2009 – Cristiano Ronaldo £80m (Manchester United to Real Madrid)
- 2009 – Kaka £56m (AC Milan to Real Madrid)
- 2001 – Zinedine Zidane £46m (Juventus to Real Madrid)
- 2000 – Luis Figo £37m (Barcelona to Real Madrid)
Big game player?
Euro 2016 was the ideal platform for Paul Pogba to make a name for himself, prove what all the fuss about him is for, and bring the trophy home for France. This fairy-tale almost came true, however it was not Pogba pulling all the strings for Les Bleus, it was Antoine Griezmann who was top scorer in the competition, winning games for the side. it was not the same case with Pogba .With 6 games played and just 1 goal to his name, and no assists, you begin to wonder what all the hype was about for the one who was tipped to win player of the tournament. Another big game he has featured in was the Champions League final in 2015 vs. Barcelona, which inflicted a 3-1 defeat for ‘The Old Lady’ with no goal by Pogba.
In his career so far I don’t believe he has shown anywhere near enough talent and promise to justify such an extortionate fee. £50 million at most, I would say, is a fair valuation for Pogba. However, with the prices in today’s games, that can easily be disregarded. John Stones was also announced as Manchester City’s new signing for £50 million after the Pogba deal was confirmed. Again, another ludicrous fee for someone who is still young and hasn’t really made a name for himself, exemplifying the problem with sky-high transfer fees in the modern era. In 2001, £46 million bought you Zinedine Zidane; now it buys you a John Stones or a Raheem Sterling.
Flop or not?
I do believe that Pogba will be a good signing for United, as their midfield is an area they have needed to improve for a while now. The addition of Pogba will bolster their options in midfield and will push players like Marouane Fellaini out of the team, who, many could argue, shouldn’t still be at the club after a number of bad performances. His shooting ability will see him add to his goal scoring tally, his strength will tighten a midfield which has been anything but strong in recent years, and will provide solidity in a Manchester United team which has been up and down like a yo-yo under Louis Van Gaal. I don’t think he will set the league alight in his first season. He will take time to re-adjust to the league, but I do think if he stays long term it will be a good signing, just a rather expensive one…
By Tom Cavilla, 18 years old.