Why it is now imperative Juventus keep hold of Paul Pogba
The future of the in-demand Paul Pogba has been a long drawn out saga that has continued to rumble on all summer, as Juventus continue to fight tooth and nail to stave off interest from European rivals for his coveted signature.
With speculation cooled and the sight of the Frenchman stepping out in Juve’s recent preseason friendly against Borussia Dortmund, it looks as though the Italian giants are winning the battle to keep Pogba in Turin for another season, which is music to the ears of theBianconeri faithful, considering they have just lost another key component to their Serie A juggernaut.
It was announced that combative midfielder Arturo Vidal was sold to Bayern Munich for €37 million, as the Chilean decided to seek a new challenge after four hugely successful years in Italy, where he won seven trophies in total. Vidal was central to Juventus’s domestic dominance as they won four successive Scudetto crowns.
The loss of Vidal, who is widely regarded as one of, if not the world’s premier box to box midfielder, is an almost irreplaceable figure in the middle of the park for the Old Lady, not only for his goalscoring reliability and defensive steel, but also for his ability to cover every blade of grass, and his feisty, in your face nature that has made Juve’s midfield such an irrepressible force in recent times.
With the loss of Andrea Pirlo to New York further compounding Juve’s woes in the centre of the park, it shapes as a challenging task for boss Massimiliano Allegri to reconstruct what is a currently disjointed midfield, that was previously so cohesive and potent.
The signing of German Sami Khedira has gone some way to replenishing the champions’ midfield stocks, but it will be the desperation to keep hold of Pogba and entrust him in being that peripheral figure that Allegri can build a team around. The stage is set for the colossal midfielder to take his game to a new level in order to pick up the slack left behind by Vidal and Pirlo.
The loss of Vidal to Bayern is a bitter pill to swallow, not only because Juve are losing a great player, but also the relatively modest price that was agreed, considering the abnormal amounts of money being thrown around for players of inferior quality. Being branded as a selling club does not sit well with Juventus at all, considering their standing on the European stage, so taking a hard stance on Pogba is the correct decision.
Pogba’s career trajectory has taken a steady upward curve, which his general performances and goal tally suggests, continuing to leave fans breathless with moments of pure genius. His stunning volley against Napoli last season is just one example of Pogboom’sunquestionable talent. This season, however, despite being just 22 years of age, needs to become the symbol of this Juveside.
Pogba was once a seen as a young upstart who was often criticised for his nonchalant attitude towards the game. While still displaying the trademark outlandish blonde tipped mohawk haircut, he has gradually matured both as a footballer and as a person. His continual rise to prominence only increases his responsibilities for both club and country.
Pogba could become Juventus midfield linchpin this season with the departures of Vidal and Pirlo.
The Young Player of 2014 World Cup will have to shoulder more of the burden this upcoming season, a situation that Pogba will relish, as one feels he is ready to add his name to the bracket of the highest echelon of footballers on the world stage, and it is well within the realms of him achieving that.
While he could pick up substantially higher wages by moving to England, Spain or even France with PSG, Pogba still has unfinished business with Juventus on the European front, after the heartbreak of losing last year’s final to Barcelona. The desire to get to another Champions League final and conquer Europe with the two-time winners is an objective he would like to tick off before he contemplates leaving the club.
While Juve might not quite be at the level of Barca, Real Madrid, or Bayern Munich, they are not far off it. Retaining the services of Pogba, whilst thwarting interest from the aforementioned clubs, will guarantee the bridge between them does not reach an insurmountable distance.
Time is still very much on Pogba’s side. Pursuing clubs will happily bide their time until they know of his availability. He is the master of his own destiny, so he should not feel pressured or rushed to make a career decision that could jeopardise his growth. He is still contracted to the Serie A champions until 2019.
Juventus and French icon Zinedine Zidane, who was once in a similar situation to the one Pogba is in right now, made the bold statement that if Pogba could continue to develop at this current rate he will become “one of the best players ever”.
Whether this comes to fruition, time will tell. But firstly, staying put at Juventus will provide him with the stage to flourish to the fullest, and that could coincide with Pogba becoming one of greatest players ever to don the famous black and white shirt.