French midfielder Paul Pogba, who was the centre of attention in a tapping up incident when he joined Manchester United in 2009, quickly became a forgotten young man at the Old Trafford club. In the summer, with his contract expired at the English Premier League club, Pogba, having just seven senior side starts under his belt, decided to move on to a £20,000 a week four year deal at Juventus. Was it a decision that was the right move for his career?
Maybe so and it is all in his own young hands. Pogba’s time was limited at Old Trafford, and the summer move seemed to suit the player a lot more than Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad. The Red Devils, who are looking to wrestle back the Premier League title from rivals Manchester City have had a gaping hole in the centre of their midfield. One that Pogba, given his rise at Juventus, could well have made his own. But there were fractures between the two parties.
It seemed to be a battle of egos at Old Trafford, because Pogba, unhappy with his lack of action, refused to sign a new contract and was so just biding his time until a summer move to Juve on a free transfer. It led to Sir Alex Ferguson criticising the youngster of disrespecting the English giants for not signing a new contract. Sir Alex Ferguson also placed blame at the feet of Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiolo, who is a notorious character for playing hard-ball with clubs.
With United unwilling to offer a contract extension and Pogba just seeing out his time instead of waiting for more chances, he moved to Juventus. It was a strange move for many because he was not guaranteed a starting place in a strong line up there either. The Old Lady had just secured the Serie A title with Claudio Marchision, Arturo Vidal and the immense Andre Pirlo, a midfield trio who were key to Juve going unbeaten all season in the league.
Pogba’s arrival at Old Trafford was not a smooth one, because Le Harve, from whom the French midfielder joined, accused Manchester United of tapping up the player. There were allegations that financial benefits had been made to the family of Pogba in order to get him to join the English Premier League club. Pogba himself denied taking large inducements to put pen to paper at Old Trafford as well. For such a controversial move, the Pogba plan never had time to play out at Manchester United.
So with Pogba apparently not being afraid to say no to Sir Alex Ferguson over a new contract, his positive and strong start at Juve has not been without controversy as well. While his play on the pitch has made him a vital cog in the slick Juventus machine, picking up man of the match awards and scoring one of the stunning goals of the season so far with a volley outside of the penalty area to beat Napoli, Pogba has sprinted out of the shadows of his Old Trafford gloom to revel in the Turin sunshine. So, it looks as if Pogba’s career was accelerated by his rejection of Manchester United.
But the only shadow over him has been cast by himself. The French midfielder found himself a regular starter in the Juventus side which started strongly in the defence of their Serie A title. But he was dropped from Juve’s side last weekend, following a report of him turning up late for training twice. While Pogba’s agent has defend the player because of extenuating circumstances.
It may be a good wake up call for the player, who the world is really getting to see the potential of now since his move. With a patchy fledgling career on the sidelines apparently behind him, it looks as if the only way he is going to end up back there is down to his own temperament. His quality on the pitch is being proven. His temperament behind the scenes, not.