Down The Wings

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Why this could be Paul Pogba’s best Campaign at Manchester United

(Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

After having a turbulent relationship under Jose Mourinho, Paul Pogba has started to showcase his
best form for Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. There were huge expectations when
Paul returned to Old Trafford for a then world-record fee of £89 million pounds and it is safe to say
he has not met the expectations on a consistent basis. He performed well in his first season and
scored in the Europa League Final against Ajax to help United lift the trophy. There were moments in
his second season where he displayed his incredible talent.

One that comes to mind is when he had a terrific second-half performance at the Etihad to deny our noisy neighbours winning the league that day. In Mourinho’s final season, the writing was on the wall for everyone to see that Mourinho and Paul had definitely fallen out. The footage was leaked from training where Mourinho was unhappy
with Paul and the situation escalated to the point where Mourinho labelled Paul as a “virus”.

Ole came into a United squad that was extremely low in confidence and morale. The players were
given a clean slate and the freedom to play attacking football. Paul was one of the players to benefit
from this the most as he came back into the starting eleven and showed good form. Solskjaer and
Pogba has always had a good relationship and Solskjaer has known Paul from when he was in the
youth setup. This translated well onto the pitch and it was encouraging to see Paul playing with
confidence. Since then, Paul’s infamous agent stated his client would leave the club in the summer
which enraged United fans. Paul was heavily criticised and rightly so as it felt that Raiola was
speaking on behalf of Paul. Solskjaer again has to be given massive credit as he handled the situation
perfectly which led to Paul putting inconsistent performances for the team. Bruno Fernandes also
clearly has a good rapport with Paul on and off the pitch.

Embed from Getty Images

This season, Paul has been one of our top performers. In five games, he has an incredible tally of 7
assists. Against Leeds, he featured on the left and was our most creative outlet, linking up
fantastically with Bruno. His ball from deep to Mason Greenwood was sublime, splitting the Leeds
defence open leading to Mason’s exquisite finish. Paul assisted Greenwood again the week after
against the Saints with good link-up play in a tight area. This combination was seen once again at Old
Trafford last week as it was Jesse Lingard who Paul assisted this time. Ole has played Paul in the
double-pivot in the last two league games and against Newcastle, he looked comfortable in that
position. Experts question Paul’s defensive discipline in that role as he is seen to not be press
resistant and oppositions tend to capitalise on this. However, there is not much reliance on Pogba
to be brilliant in the defensive aspect of the role as United have an extremely solid back four. With
the pace of Varane, a high line can be implemented, and Paul can push further forward to join in the
attacking areas. This suits Paul’s game perfectly as he is best when he is on the ball due to the fact
that his range of passing is elite. I think that in this role, Paul could have his best season in a United
shirt.

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