Paul Pogba has been linked with a controversial move to Manchester City upon his Manchester United contract.
The midfielder’s deal at Old Trafford runs out in June and the Premier League champions could see the Frenchman as a summer transfer option. Pogba’s time at United has been far from smooth.
Many feel he has not lived up to his £89m price tag, which stood as a world record at the time of his transfer from Juventus in 2016. Repeated comments on moving away from United and his off-field behaviour has further displeased a number of others.
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Jamie Carragher has historically been critical of Pogba during his time at Old Trafford. His positional discipline has been questioned by the ex-Liverpool defender on many occasions.
Speaking during last season while debating with Gary Neville, Carragher said: “The first time I analysed Paul Pogba, four years ago, it was in a Manchester derby. He was playing central midfield, and he was standing on the left wing for goal kicks.
“I said on that show I can’t understand how a world-class talent doesn’t understand where he needs to be for a goal kick. How, after four years at Manchester United, are you still talking about finding Pogba’s best position and can Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) get more out of him, can he add discipline to his game? He’s been there for four years!”
This may be a concern for Guardiola who has a wealth of attacking midfield talent, all of whom acknowledge their positional requirements. Because of this, some of his central players are expected to drop back to help Rodri or Fernandinho when the team is on the attack.
Pogba hasn’t demonstrated the maturity to retreat enough, and Michael Owen noted that Juventus often “didn’t trust” him to play in midfield. Speaking in March last year, he said: “Can he do a job? Yes, he can do a job, but is he N’Golo Kante? No.”
“Paul Pogba has more in his DNA to be up there, create. At Juventus, he used to play in a certain position where they clearly didn’t trust him in the middle of the park so they played him more on the sides.”
Guardiola often confides in his traditional 4-3-3 formation, which rarely leaves room for an advanced attacking midfielder, especially when Kevin De Bruyne is available. City have enough established wide men in their ranks such as Bernardo Silva, Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez.
So therein lies the question, again – where Pogba would fit into City’s side? The World Cup winner would indeed come in on a free, but whether his contribution to the team would be beneficial is questionable based on Carragher’s and Owen’s analysis.
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