Having let Paul Pogba leave Old Trafford for next to nothing just four years ago, Manchester United are being forced to pay heavily for their mistake, with £100 million needed to rectify their poor decision in 2012.
While many see Pogba as a great signing regardless of the fee involved, former Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand has been speaking of his surprise, and that of his teammates at the time, that Pogba was allowed to leave in the first place.
“He was 17, nearly 18, and before he came into the changing room I said ‘Listen, this kid. I’ve seen him play for the reserves and youths and he has something’.
“After he trained, not a player in that Manchester United first team disagreed. Everyone was sold on Paul Pogba.
“When he left United every player was saying ‘What the hell is going on?’ But he came to a decision to leave and sometimes these things happen in football.
“His self-belief in quitting United for Juventus showed his confidence in his ability – and that belief is actually a positive thing. It comes from a drive to improve himself.
“I would love him to return. United need personalities. The Premier League needs personalities. The league needs star players, charisma, and at the moment they are not in England. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is here. Yes, that’s a great start, but how long for?”
Manchester United offered Pogba £10,000-a-week to stay at the club at the time, with Sir Alex Ferguson unwilling to meet the demands of a young teenager attempting to negotiate a major contract having done little within the first team to deserve it.
In hindsight Ferguson will feel he should have done more to keep the young Frenchman. Pogba will look to prove that point to Ferguson should he return to Old Trafford.
Damien McEvoy, Pundit Arena
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