A slow moving transfer window for the club has finally brought good news for Manchester United fans, as it has been confirmed that Paul Pogba will be staying at the club for the forseeable future.
The France international signed for the club for £89million back in 2016 but following an uninspired spell so far, has constantly been linked with a move away with Real Madrid and Juventus interested.
After winning the World Cup with France in 2018, Pogba returned to the club and fell out with manager Jose Mourinho. After Mourinho was sacked in December of that year, Pogba was reinstated to the side under Ole Gunnar Solskjær and had his spell at the club. He ended the season as the top goalscorer and top assister across all competitions.
That summer however, Pogba publicly revealed that he was questioning whether it was time to move on or not with Zinedine Zidane returning to Real Madrid and making him his prime target. A deal was never made between the clubs and Pogba stayed. He then missed the majority of last season with an ankle injury that required surgery, but returned following the COVID-19 lockdown to help the club earn a Champions League place for next season.
With a year left on his deal (plus an extra year that Manchester United can trigger when they wish), questions marks remained over his future once again. But agent Mino Raiola has told the media that Pogba will stay at Old Trafford and that talks over a new contract are due to start soon.
Prior to his admission about wanting to leave the club, Pogba was among the front-runners for the captaincy after Antonio Valencia left following the expiration of his contract. He, De Gea and Ashley Young shared the armband for the end of the campaign before Young was given it permanently in the summer.
David De Gea and Pogba both seemed to find themselves out of the running following comments to the press during the season though. When Young was out of the side, De Gea wore the armband and when he said “this is the worst I’ve seen at United” following yet another poor result, he was never named captain again. Pogba hasn’t worn the armband since he almost left last year.
Despite being the obvious candidate for the role, when Ashley Young joined Inter Milan in January it was Harry Maguire who was given the full-time captain role. Many stated it was due to his leadership qualities and the fact that Pogba wasn’t committed to the club while his future was up in the air.
But with his sights firmly set on Old Trafford now going forward, he should be given the armband. He is the leader of the dressing room. Whenever you hear a player talk about the behind the scenes elements at the club, it’s always Pogba who’s name comes up as an inspiration or a leader or someone who helps the younger players along. He’s a winner too, having won the World Cup, Serie A four times, Coppa Italia twice plus the League Cup and Europa League with United under Mourinho.
We’ve seen plenty of times where he has take it upon himself to be the leader in high profile situations, with footage online of his team-talks during France’s run to winning the World Cup. With a young squad at the helm now, they need someone who’s mentality is that of the elite. There is nobody more elite in the Manchester United squad than Paul Pogba.
In reality, the person wearing the armband doesn’t really matter. The club needs leaders throughout the team and that is something Solskjær has made clear during his time at the club. With De Gea, Maguire, Pogba, Fernandes and Rashford they have a spine of players that command respect throughout the club and that’s a good sign.
But considering Pogba’s reputation worldwide in the game, plus the fact he is the best candidate for the role, I think it would be the best thing for the club if Pogba is seen as the leader of the club in an official capacity.