Les retrouvailles tant attendues en 2017 entre Paul Pogba et Manchester United ne se sont pas du tout passées comme les deux parties l’espéraient. Le Français va quitter l’Angleterre avec seulement une Ligue Europa et une Coupe de la Ligue anglaise en six saisons.

Soccer – Paul Pogba at Manchester United – a 250m flop

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Between the transfer fee, salary and various bonuses, the Frenchman will have cost the English club a quarter of a billion in five years.

The long-awaited 2017 reunion between Paul Pogba and Manchester United didn’t go at all as either party had hoped. The Frenchman will leave England with just one Europa League and one English League Cup in six seasons.

AFP

Besides surprise, Paul Pogba (29 years old) will be a Juventus player again very soon. The announcement of this homecoming of one of the stars of world football was still a utopia a few months ago.

Today, six years after seeing his decision to leave Piedmont for Manchester United, the Torino club are very well placed to welcome the Frenchman for the second time. And without having to pay the smallest cent into the coffers of the MU for the second time since 2012.

Real and PSG give up

Doubts about his physical form – he’s been the victim of several injuries in recent years – and above all the ability of one of the most gifted midfielders of the last decade to regularly develop at the very high level we’re entitled to expect from him, ultimately convinced Real Madrid and PSG – two clubs that have long courted him – forgoing to meet his high salary demands. And this despite the fact that he is at the end of his contract with MU.

The decision to return to the club where he first asserted himself and then shone between 2012 and 2016 is not trivial. After the failure of his return to Manchester – he spent three seasons there between 2009 and 2012 with only seven part-time appearances in the first team – “die Pickaxe” has to find a favorable setting, a club where he feels loved and valued so quickly return to its best level as possible.

Especially with regard to the next World Cup in Qatar. That, for example, from his last two years in Turin and the 2018 World Cup, where he was one of the great architects of France’s world title.

Record transfer 2016

In Manchester, where he was greeted with enthusiasm and also great expectations, nobody or almost nobody regrets Paul Pogba’s departure. With only one goal scored – but at least nine assists – in just twenty games this season, he has failed to make the hoped-for contribution to a sportingly lagging club.

While his performance was still much better in the first five exercises, the Frenchman never managed to bring MU back to the heights he logically claims. Aside from a pair of English League Cup and Europa League successes in 2017, a club that dominated international affairs under the Ferguson era has had little to add to their list of achievements since Pogba’s arrival.

Two trophies in six years

A disappointment all the more as the Mancunians paid €105m to snatch Pogba from Juve back in 2016. A record amount at the time. The sums that the club pays for six years are not unrelated to the weariness of a majority of fans.

Because even if the highly talented midfielder has sometimes managed to surpass his team-mates and lead them to success, as he did in the 2017 Europa League, his return to Manchester can be described as a major sporting failure.

More than a million played the game

But what perhaps irked Mancunian fans the most was the €4.4m loyalty bonus recently paid to Pogba after he just publicly announced he was leaving MU. The English media therefore threw themselves into their calculators to estimate as accurately as possible what it had cost the club since 2016. Between his transfer, his salaries, the various bonuses and the commission due to his agent Mino Raiola, the amount was around 220 million pounds – or 250 million euros – is regularly quoted.

As he wore the MU shirt 226 times, it’s easy to calculate that Paul Pogba will have cost more than €1m per game played. If we can speak of a sporting failure, we have to add that his time in Manchester was a real economic fiasco.


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