Soccer is a game where players often come and go, but one of the game’s greatest midfielders says even he was in “disbelief” when a particular situation transpired.
While there was discontent on the part of French club Le Havre when Paul Pogba joined Manchester United’s youth team back in 2009, the Premier League giants were understandably excited about the young player’s future in England.
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Unfortunately for Pogba and the club, the Frenchman’s first stint with the team never took off the way he had hoped for. At the young age of 18, Pogba earned his way into the United senior team after a few years spent with the club’s youth teams, but from there, the midfielder made a mere seven appearances across all competitions for the Red Devils.
The lack of playing time brought along a move that proved to be quite shocking given the hype surrounding the young player. After just one season spent sporadically with the United first team, Pogba left the 20-time PL champions for Italy to join Serie A powerhouse Juventus.
Despite joining a club with midfield stars like Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio, Pogba immediately found his way onto the field and proved to be a steal of a signing for the Italian giants.
Pirlo says he and his Juventus teammates were in shock at the time at the fact Manchester United could let Pogba go that easily.
“I will always remember the first day he had training at Juventus,” Pirlo said. “He was only young, but we could see he was special. There was almost a disbelief that Manchester United had let this player go.”
During Pogba’s four seasons with Juventus, the club captured four Serie A crowns, while the Frenchman was also named to the Serie A Team of the Year on two separate occasions.
Now, with Pogba regarded as one of, if not the best, midfielders in the world, there’s been a bit of scrutiny surrounding Manchester United as the club has brought back one of its most promising young players after four years away. On Monday, Juventus agreed to a world-record transfer fee of $116 million to send Pogba back to Old Trafford.
“A lot of people have a lot to say about what the fee could be and if he’s worth it,” he said. “But when you pay a big fee you just have to ask one question – can this player play a big part in us winning trophies? If he can do that then it will always be worth it for the buying club.
“We know Pogba can do this and we know he can do it for a lot of years to come.”Follow @MattReedFutbol