Its summer 2016, José Mourinho has just been unveiled as the new Manchester United boss. The announcement was recieved with mixed feelings by the United fanbase but c’mon its Jose Mourinho! A serial winner so no one’s really complaining. Whatever it takes to get Manchester United football club back to the summit of English and European football(even if it means hiring arguably the most hated rival manager).
Fast forward a few weeks and Manchester United have signed a relatively unknown Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and “Zlatan Ibrahimovic.”
There’s been talk of Paul Pogba re-signing for United, but you’re taking it with a grain of salt as Real Madrid and quite a good number of Football’s elite are in the running for Pogba. You doubt if United can still pull their weight amongst other European heavyweights after finishing outside the Champions league spots for the second time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
Then Boom! #Pogback, Manchester United win the transfer window by signing Paul Pogba for a world record fee(don’t even get me started on that announcement video with Stormzy). José Mourinho, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and now Paul Pogba, surely the glory days at Old Trafford are back. You think with a smile on your face; Goodbye and good riddance Banter era.
Summer 2019 and sadly the banter era is still in full swing, Manchester United have sacked José Mourinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is tearing it up in the MLS, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is now an arsenal player, Eric Bailly has spent more time on the surgeon’s table than on the pitch and United have finished 6th(again).
Paul Pogba? Well things haven’t exactly worked out perfectly, quite alright he’s had some standout performances in his three years back at Manchester United and without a shred of doubt has been our best outfield player since re-signing for the club but he has so much divided opinion amongst the fans. Then there’s Mino Raiola’s statements about his client seeking “greener pastures.” Raiola’s usual antics hasn’t exactly endeared him nor his client to the United faithful, then there’s also Paul Pogba’s comments about seeking a new challenge and his refusal to publicly commit his future to United when quizzed by journalists
It’s easy to forget that footballers are also just people like us, so let’s take things from Pogba’s perspective shall we?
It isn’t too far fetched to assume that Paul Pogba could have been sold a “pipe dream” in 2016 when he re-signed for his boyhood club. Dreams about United’s resurgence with him as the poster boy. If not, why would he choose a United side that had not competed for the title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement over European powerhouses that were after his signature. Yes his love for the club would have also been a decisive factor but the state United were in would worry any ambitious player.
Three years down the line and United have failed to properly challenge for the league title with the closest being a second place finish, nineteen points off our noisy neighbours.
The Champions league? knocked out by Sevilla at Old Trafford in the round of sixteen and Knocked out the following season in the quarter finals by Barcelona in a humilating 3 nil drubbing at the camp nou after losing the reverse leg at Old Trafford.
Paul Pogba went from being a champions league finalist to being knocked out in humilating fashion for two consecutive seasons
Going by recent reports, Paul Pogba is expected to remain at United for the coming season at least, but one thing is for sure, the Paul Pogba saga is far from over and next summer, we should expect more drama concerning Paul Pogba’s future which might see him leave if United fail to compete on all fronts or show proper ambition for yet another season, If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rebuild appeals to him then he just might remain a united player for longer. The links to Lazio Midfielder, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic seems to have lost steam though the Lazio starman is touted as a potential replacement if Paul Pogba were to leave United.
The expected signing of Argentine Ace Paulo Dybala, a player whom pogba played with and developed a good understanding with at Juventus just might do the trick of convincing Pogba to stay at United.
Europa league player of the tournament, Premier league team of the year, these are some of the personal accolades that Pogba has won since re-signing for his boyhood club three seasons ago yet a portion of the fanbase can’t help but feel he hasn’t done enough in a manchester united shirt, the question remains; “has Paul Pogba failed to live up to expectations or are the expectations just too high”