Quite possibly the biggest club in the world pulled of quite possibly the most controversially priced transfer of all time. Manchester United have paid Juventus a total of £93.2m for French international midfielder Paul Pogba. That too in a transfer saga that went on all summer. The Red Devils stumped up a world record fee for a player they let go for absolutely nothing (£1.5m) in the summer of 2012. Is the fee worth it? Probably not. Considering here’s a player who won’t give you 40 odd goals or 25 assists in a season. Was there any other way United were going to get there player? Absolutely not.
The fact that United have been off their level in the last 3 years coupled with the fact that they’re not in the Champions League. Thus it was always going to be a case of paying over the odds. Especially for a man touted to be on his way to becoming one of the best in the world. He’s young, he’s versatile and he has years to prove himself. And one thing not in doubt is his talent and sheer ability to produce moments of magic that turn games.
It’s an obvious fact that United are desperate to win the Premier League. And given the fact that it’s Mourinho’s first season in-charge were all factors that led to the world record fee paid for Pogba. Having won aplenty silverware in his time at Turin, he brings a winning mentality. ( 4 league titles, 2 Italian Cups and 2 Italian Super Cups) That too to a squad that has won just 1 FA cup in the last 3 years. As an Arsenal fan though, I am in no position to question the deal or the intent. From having hopes of Vardy, Lacazette and Mustafi to starting the season with Sanogo and Johnny FUCKING Evans. The joke for us gooners is perpetually on the wall.
The fee surpasses the £85m Real Madrid paid Tottenham for Wales forward Gareth Bale in 2013. 3 years prior to that, Madrid were at it again when they paid £83.7m to Manchester United to sign star player Cristiano Ronaldo. Just days prior to the Pogba signing, Juventus themselves paid Napoli £75m to secure the services of Gonzalo Higuain. Although to be fair, looking at his belly bump in the recent friendly, Juventus got probably a bit more than they’d have liked.
This also remains the record transfer for a domestic transfer. Napoli basically handed Juventus the title on a platter served with a cherry on top. The football world is becoming a crazy place and we’re all here in merry to witness and to be a part of it. Spending the big bucks doesn’t always guarantee you success. Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Angel Di Maria (United), Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Falcao (Chelsea and United), Soldado (Spurs) and Squillaci (Arsenal) are living legendary examples that paying the big bucks doesn’t always mean automatic triumph. And yes £4m for Squillaci is ‘big bucks’ by Wenger standards.
One argument is that Manchester United can ‘afford’ to pay the big salaries and transfer fees. So it wouldn’t affect their finances much and a lot of is recouped in merchandise sales. Believing that player shirt sales will help recoup the cost of the transfer is as naïve as believing those love stories with messages that “we all have a soul-mate out there”. Get over it. it’s very likely that you’re going to end up dying alone or with a pet at 45.
The other argument is that United are essentially the boyfriend who dumped their upcoming model girlfriend 4 years ago. And now that she’s on her way to becoming a stunning supermodel, they’ve gone all out to get her back. (And succeeded, what a hoe.) What’s not in doubt though is that Pogba will be the pivot for the United team in the years to come. It’s a multi-million dollar investment that will be expected to bear fruit for the better part of the next decade. Many believe he’s incredibly overrated or overpriced. The popular opinion still is that he’s the piece that completes the Manchester United puzzle.
Whether the club can with stand big egos like Zlatan, Rooney, Pogba and ‘grand-daddy’ Mourinho is what remains to be seen.
#Pogback looks great for now but there could be a #PogbackLASH if this doesn’t quite pan out.
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