Pogba returns to Juventus after failures at Manchester United
A new phase in the career of French midfielder Paul Pogba began today as Juventus announced the signing of the player. This is the second time he has come to the Old Lady from Manchester United, both times as a free agent.
The first departure from MJ was also accompanied by scandal
The financial issue and the scandal are perhaps two constants in the career of the flamboyant midfielder. Pogba first appeared in the main United squad for an English Premier League match in the 2011/2012 season, but left for Juventus Turin after the end of the season with scandal.
He played his first game for the Italian outfit when he was 19 – and immediately joined the main squad under Antonio Conte. As a result, the Turin side extended their championship streak to two seasons and Paul scored five goals in 27 Serie A games.
“It was the players who were the main culprits for the team’s success. They had the right attitude to work, they trained as hard as they could. The player who impressed me the most was Paul Pogba. After all, last season he played for Manchester United’s youth team and essentially didn’t play any adult soccer at all,” Conte said, summing up Pogba’s debut season at Juve.
The next season, in addition to winning Serie A, Juventus reached the Europa League semi-finals but it was with the arrival of Massimiliano Allegri that Juventus and Pogba in particular started to shine.
The new coach brought a more haphazard style of play to Juve, with chances escalating down the flanks – the direction of the attack was set by the midfield. In such a paradigm, the French player’s playing qualities took on a new coloring. As a result, Paul had a season, after which Manchester United agreed to pay the Italian giants 105 million euros to bring back his pupil.
Had his best season at Juventus under Allegri – goes back to him
The 2015/2016 season for the French midfielder remains the second most productive of his career, with 13 goals and nine assists in 35 games in the Italian Serie A, an average of 86 minutes on the pitch per game. Pogba made the weather at Juve’s center back along with Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio.
The Old Lady made it all the way to the UEFA Champions League final, with Pogba twice assisting Morata in the decisive moments – first in the winning goal against Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of the last eight (2-1) and then in the Real Madrid CF semi-final (the goal put Juve through to the final). The Italians were one step away from the trophy – the Barcelona trio of Messi-Suarez-Neymar were beyond their grasp. But it was enough to interest MJ bosses – in the summer of 2016 Pogba returned to England. Allegri, meanwhile, summed it up:
The club made an outstanding deal from a financial point of view. I wish him a lot of luck, perhaps we will meet in the Champions League in the future. He had great seasons at Juventus, has grown tremendously as a player and is capable of adding more.
Pogba continued to flare up periodically at MJ – Allegri will breathe life into him
Pogba has cemented his status as a mood player at Manchester City – after Ole Gunnar Sulsjær joined the club during the 2018/2019 season, the Frenchman became enthusiastic again and scored 22 points (13 goals + 9 assists) in 35 APL games. But he was not good enough for more.
Pogba’s return to Allegri looks even more encouraging – the 29-year-old midfielder is familiar with the Italian specialist’s approach, it will avoid the misunderstandings and scandals that happened with Mourinho. Juventus fans will be more favorable to him (in the relationship between the club and Paul there is no such negative context, as in the case with the Mancunians). In addition, the start of the season promises to be the most successful – the World Cup is approaching, and Pogba perfectly sets himself up for short stretches. The attitude of the French national team midfielder to his new-old club is evidenced by his first words after signing the contract:
Hello, bianconeri! As you can see, I’m back and I’m very happy. I’m looking forward to the season, I want to take trophies with you again. Soon we will be on the field – together with you.
Paul is able to join attacks from deep, as he showed under Sulzer after the acquisition of Bruno Fernandes, can hold on to the ball and find a moment to strike inside the penalty box.
Juventus, on the other hand, are slowly moving away from their Championship tradition – last season the Italian outfit slumped in all respects when compared to Serie A 2021/2022. Juve’s athletic players dominate the current squad but no midfield player can guarantee the level of creativity that comes from Pogba in optimum form – he will guide the coach’s thinking and the Old Lady have signed Angel Di Maria from Paris Saint-Germain to pair the Frenchman on the other flank.
Ideally, Di Maria and Pogba would be the missing piece of the puzzle that would make it possible to fight for the top-3 once again. Allegri will still need to establish teamwork, so it will take time to get into shape. But keeping those players and adding variation will produce a quality championship contender. A renewed Juventus game will be played for the first time on August 14 when the Bianconeri take on Sassuolo in the opening round of Serie A.