Football

How much would Manchester United miss Paul Pogba?

Manchester United icon Paul Pogba remains an enigma to most around Old Trafford. The 28-year-old could once again leave England after a turbulent time on and off the pitch.

His contract with United ends this summer. That means he is now free to speak to other clubs regarding a potential move. But according to Sky Sports, the midfielder is still undecided as to whether he will stay or go.

The France international has missed his club’s last 12 matches with a hamstring injury. And Man Utd manager Ralf Rangnick recently confirmed that Pogba remains out for at least another month due to the injury.

But just how much would United miss the midfielder if he were to leave in the summer?

Paul Pogba

Is Paul Pogba eager to impress?

Pogba has yet to play under new boss Rangnick. It makes sense then for the midfielder to at least attempt to show the manager what he is capable of. That opportunity will arise when he makes his long-awaited return from injury.

But does Rangnick have a plan for the mercurial midfielder? Since the manager has come in, his club have climbed the Premier League table and have recently progressed in the FA Cup.

The new man in the dugout has won four, drawn two and lost just one of his seven matches so far. The Red Devils have scored eight times and conceded four in that time.

It may be an improvement from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but United fans can attest that not all is going swimmingly. Unflattering results have been the norm lately. Such results include a 1-0 home loss to Wolves and a 1-1 draw with struggling Newcastle.

Moreover, the victories have been hugely underwhelming. They include 1-0 wins against Crystal Palace, Norwich and Aston Villa.

A creative spark is, therefore, unquestionably needed. But a hard-hitting tackler is also required. Whether or not Pogba is the man to provide those things remains to be seen.

The temperamental player has shown glimpses of his ability over the years. Even this season, he boasts seven assists in nine league matches. That began with an astonishing four assists in the opening day win against Leeds.

And in Rangnick’s intriguing 4-2-2-2 formation, Pogba’s versatility could prove vital. He has played centrally, left, right and defensively in midfield this season.

But his tendency to go missing has also shown. Equally worrying perhaps is his disciplinary record. He has four yellows from those matches. The player also has one red card. That came just 15 minutes after coming onto the pitch against Liverpool.

Do Man Utd have a replacement lined up?

United have been needing a star midfielder for some time. The opportunity was there last summer, but club legend Cristiano Ronaldo was brought in instead. The forward has been crucial to any success the side have enjoyed going forward this season. He is the club’s top scorer in all competitions with 14.

But that has simply highlighted the need for a no-nonsense midfielder. Gaps have appeared in the middle of the pitch all too often, while the recent FA Cup tie with Aston Villa showed just how dominant opposing teams can be against Rangnick’s preferred starters of Fred and Scott McTominay.

While a January signing may be a big ask, United will most certainly look to the summer transfer window to improve in the central area. 

Potential replacements for Paul Pogba include Wolves’ Ruben Neves and Marseille’s Boubacar Kamara. Monaco youngster Aurelien Tchouameni and Brighton star Yves Bissouma could also be targeted.

About the author

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Peter Lynch

Sports Journalism graduate from the University of Stirling, huge Liverpool and Northern Ireland fan, currently working as a freelancer.

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