Paul Pogba is a very good player indeed. And given the last 18 months that is something he appeared to know before his former employers Manchester United did.
The French midfielder was always rated highly by those at Old Trafford, including then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson, but given the player’s comments about being overlooked even when United’s midfield was considerably weakened by injury, you wonder why he was not given a chance.
By the time Ferguson did start using him, it seemed his mind was already made up that he would not be signing a new deal and would instead be off to Italy.
At Juventus, he soared. There was no transitional time, no settling-in period, he simply strode onto the pitch and owned it almost from day one.
And now, Ferguson’s successor has been tipped to bring Pogba back to Manchester, for £30million more than it took to see him leave.
Suggestions remain that such a deal is impossible, if for no other reason than his less-than-amicable departure, but you wonder if Moyes had arrived a season or two earlier, if Pogba would now be a stalwart in the United midfield. After all, look at the chances he has given to another precocious youngster destined for the top in Adnan Januzaj.
We will never know, but the confusion many felt when United were not playing Pogba when they had the chance was also felt by his new teammates when he arrived at Juventus.
In an interview published by Sky Sports, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon told TV show Tiki Taka, “Pogba is one of those players who leaves you speechless.
“When he came we didn’t know him, but after only three or four training sessions we were impressed by his enormous qualities.
“My teammates and me looked at each other as to say ‘Are they blind in Manchester?’ (to let him go away).”
Maybe Moyes will pull off an almighty coup and rectify what Zinedine Zidane called one of Ferguson’s “biggest mistake”. Or maybe United fans will always be left to wonder what would have happened if Pogba had been thrown in at the deep end; one senses he would have soared straight to the surface.
image: © mikebrown59