Paul Pogba’s first season back at his beloved Manchester United was either a resounding success or a failure in emulating his enormous price-tag depending on which half of Manchester you talk to.
One thing that is certain, however, is Pogba’s ambition in shaking off the connotations that come with his price tag and to allow his football do the talking. New signing Nemanja Matic, who cost United £40m from Chelsea, as reported by Sky Sports, could be just the man to allow Pogba to fulfill this.
In an interview with The Telegraph this week Pogba stated: “Last season the first question from everyone was always all about the price tag. Now everyone is asking about the football. That tells you everything.”
Pogba feels confident that his second season in his return to Old Trafford will be the one that will cement his ability amongst the best within the footballing world.
His boss, Jose Mourinho, has a prolific knack at getting things just right in his second season. On his return to Chelsea Mourinho secured the title in his second season and also clinched his two Champions League titles at FC Porto and Internazionale in his second seasons at the clubs.
Pogba believes he can emulate this, adding: “I am always confident and now it is my second season. I know more about the Premier League and I adapt more with the team.”
However, the key to Pogba establishing himself this season may not be down to having a year behind him to get comfortable, but perhaps down to having the assured 6’4″ Serbian Matic alongside him.
It goes without saying we would probably all fair a bit better with a huge Serbian helping us out with our day-to-day tasks so perhaps it is to no great surprise.
Pogba went on to discuss the effectiveness Matic had in allowing him to have more of an impact against West Ham United in Sunday’s 4-0 victory, telling The Telegraph: “Against West Ham, Matic was starting behind and I could worry more about attacking. I feel good playing that way.”
Matic covered 890 metres more than any player on the pitch at Old Trafford on Sunday, running a total of 11.69km. Alongside this, he was able to provide key passes to Pogba throughout the 90 minutes.
— Sky Sports PL ? (@SkySportsPL) August 16, 2017
Matic allows Pogba freedom to play higher up the pitch.
Pogba often had to fulfil defensive duties last season, but Matic will allow him the opportunity to create and score more goals which he so desperately desires.
It is still to be seen as to whether Matic will be the final piece in the United jigsaw but Sunday certainly wasn’t a bad indicator to United fans that he could be.