Ahead of his world-record transfer to Manchester United, Paul Pogba has received a ringing endorsement from his former Juventus teammate Andrea Pirlo.
The pair played together in the Juve midfield for three years before Pirlo’s move to New York City in 2015, and the former Italian international has praised Pogba’s attitude as well as his talent.
Speaking to the Mirror on Monday, Pirlo believes that the 23-year-old will not stop until he is the best player in the world, and has backed him to make that dream a reality at Old Trafford:
“[Pogba] is, of course, a great player, but sometimes with natural ability, some players think that is enough,
“That’s not the case with him. You are getting a player with a great attitude. He wants to be the best in the world, he wants to learn off the coaches and the senior players. He is hungry to be the best.”
Pogba arrived at Juventus in 2012 having become frustrated a a perceived lack of first-team opportunities at Man United. Pirlo and his Bianconeri teammates could see from day one that Pogba was a supremely talented athlete – to the point that they were shocked that the English side had led him leave so easily:
“I will always remember the first day he had training at Juventus,
“He was only young, but we could see he was special.
“There was almost a disbelief that Manchester United had let this player go.”
The issue of Pogba’s price was also discussed by Pirlo. Much has been made of the £90m transfer fee (with £20m more going to his agent Mino Raiola), but the 37-year-old is adamant that it will not make a difference to Man United if it means that they are successful, and to Pogba himself who simply won’t let it get to him:
“A lot of people have a lot to say about what the fee could be and if he’s worth it. But when you pay a big fee you just have to ask one question – can this player play a big part in us winning trophies?
“If he can do that then it will always be worth it for the buying club.
“We know Pogba can do this and we know he can do it for a lot of years to come.
“For a player they do not care at all. They do not care if they move clubs for one million, 10million, or 100million euros. That is just something a player leaves to his agent and the clubs.”
Pogba will be confirmed as a Manchester United player – possibly as soon as Monday night – and while the price tag will remain an issue in the early stages of the resumption of his Old Trafford career, if he gets to the level that he is clearly capable of, it will soon be forgotten about.