Ever since his departure from Manchester United, Paul Pogba always seemed the kind of player that was going to one day return to haunt his old employers. His talent unquestionable, the very fact Ferguson and Manchester United let the young Frenchman leave in 2012 has always been one of the more baffling elements to Fergie’s final years at the United helm. Pogba says it was due to a lack of first team opportunities, Ferguson blames Pogba’s ‘super-agent’ Mino Raiola. Either or it seems that Pogba could well be playing once more at Old Trafford, for Chelsea.
Chelsea and speculation are two forces that are destined to be entwined until the end of the summer transfer window. John Terry’s contract, a new manager and a squad that will undoubtedly have money spent on it; Chelsea will certainly be a new beast next season.
With the club sounding out Antonio Conte as a potential successor to Hiddink after his contract has expired with Italy this summer, Pogba tops Conte’s shopping list. After working together at Juventus where Conte won back to back Serie A titles, Conte and Pogba’s relationship is already one that has garnered success. Yet is Pogba what Chelsea need going into next season?
When you look at the Chelsea squad this season, whilst depth might be lacking, it is hard to understand why they have been so poor this season. The defensive line is admittedly aging but to have such a sharp drop off in performance is hard to pin point. Players like Hazard, Fabregas, Costa and Matic don’t just stop being great footballers all at the same time. Clearly, there are forces at work that are intrinsically toxic behind closed doors at Cobham or at least they were under Mourinho. For this reason alone it is hard to judge what Chelsea need going into next season but whether or not it is Paul Pogba, any club in their right mind should purchase the young Frenchman if he becomes available.
Manchester City didn’t really need Kevin De Bruyne. Barcelona never really needed Luis Suarez. For some clubs, it doesn’t matter what you need, when a player of such high regard becomes available, it is always worth pursuing. Playing in the famed no.10 shirt currently in Turin, Pogba initially struggled his season in a re-vamped Juventus side that had just seen Vidal, Tevez and Pirlo leave for pastures new across the world. However, since Juventus have embarked on a 14 game winning run, Pogba has looked at home wearing the shirt made famous by the like of Platini and Del Piero. His goals, tricks, physicality and vision are mightily impressive, and at only 22 years old impressive showing with the French National team at Euro 2016 could see the ‘New Zidane’ final transformation into bona fide superstar.
Does Chelsea need Pogba? Probably not. Should they get Pogba? Undoubtedly yes. Whether that means moving Oscar on or playing Pogba deeper at the expense of either Matic or Fabregas, it doesn’t matter, he could well become one of the best midfielders of his generation.
Rich, The Sweeper Football Blog