World Cup winner | Star Man | Captain. Paul Pogba is everything any manager would want in a marquee player. The Frenchman is undoubtedly one of the most famous players on the planet and his reputation in England has only grown since returning. At just 25 years of age, Pau Pogba can boast he’s one of the most marketable players of his generation.
Last season, the 25-year-old endured a tumultuous relationship with United manager, José Mourinho. The two appeared to be at loggerheads for the entirety of the season. With José dropping the midfielder on several occasions just to make a point in a strange ego trip. Notably, José Mourinho has never fared well with high-profile players and his relationship with Paul Pogba has been no different.
However, this season has started differently as fresh from World Cup triumph, Pogba was awarded the captain’s armband in Manchester United’s opening league game. Perhaps this was a sign of things to come for the Frenchman.
So why does this season feel so different for Pogba than last season?
World Cup Champion
Well for one, not only did Paul Pogba win the World Cup, he was one of the tournament’s standout players. It was a coming of age tournament for the 25-year-old who proved to all his detractors that he does possess the world-class ability. Alongside N’Golo Kante, Pogba played in a system that not only gave him attacking freedom but also gave him sole responsibility of dictating his team’s passing play.
In 539 minutes of World Cup football, the United captain averaged 51 passes a game, completing 247 passes in total, on top of that, the Frenchman completed 76.2% of his passes in the opposition’s half. In defence, the Frenchman led by example as well by winning 64.5% of his aerial duels and winning 84.6% of his tackles.
In Russia, Paul Pogba was a locker room leader that translated his big personality to on the pitch performances. Now he’s back in England and ready for what the Premier League has to throw at him. No longer is he phased by the bright lights of Old Trafford, instead, he’s now ready to be Manchester United’s franchise player.
Not only has Pogba’s mindset changed, but his environment has also changed. José Mourinho has finally accepted that in order to get the best out of the 25-year-old he needs to play a midfield three. The signing of Fred shows Mourinho’s intent to deploy a midfield three of Matić as a DM, Fred as an AM and Pogba as the box to box midfielder, the position he excels in. José Mourinho has no choice to play Pogba in his best position because the world has now seen how good the Frenchman can be when used properly.
This is the season that we’ll finally see the best of Paul Pogba. And as shown by the World Cup, an on-form Paul Pogba wins silverware. If Kevin De Bruyne can drag his team to the summit of Premier League football, there’s no reason why Paul Pogba can’t either.