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Can Paul Pogba prove the critics wrong?

Wednesday 26th July 2017
Paul Labille Pogba remains the most expensive player in football history (for now) and has flattered to deceive with some incredibly lacklustre showings since returning to Manchester United. He is being touted as a future captain of the club and has tried his hand at being an agent this summer by helping to persuade Romelu Lukaku to join the Red Devils but is it enough?

Frankly, it isn't even close to being enough to convince anyone that Pogba was worth the exorbitant fee Manchester United paid to Juventus (and Mino Raiola) last summer. While the Frenchman has made some truly exceptional killer passes, infrequently, he has failed to re-create his confident performances in a Juventus shirt for his current employers.

When Paul Pogba took to the field against Real Madrid this weekend, he was handed the captains armband ahead of the likes of Ander Herrera and Chris Smalling but failed to take responsibility for his team in any convincing manner. Pogba spent most of his time posing, posturing and dawdling on the ball which led to possession being cheaply handed over to Madrid's young starlets.

In fact, Pogba's only real contribution to the game was a brief outburst to his team mates after Victor Lindelof gave away a penalty via the clumsiest challenge any of us have seen for some time. Pogba shouted at his colleagues in the hopes of encouraging them but he failed to lead by example and continued to stroll around the pitch in a lazy manner that former team mate Adnan Januzaj would've been proud of.

While it's only pre-season, the weekend's fixture should've been treated as a warm up for the European Super Cup which sees United face Real in Macedonia for UEFA's Community Shield equivalent. As the game dragged on to a penalty shootout, Pogba was not selected nor did he volunteer to take a spot kick in the worst shootout in the club's history - if he wants to prove his critics wrong, he must step up and show willing when the team need him to.
What does this mean for the coming season? Can Pogba really step up a gear and show the world why he cost so much money to bring back to England? Not a chance. There's a lack of commitment in Pogba's style of play and he has shown this for both club and country when representing France. It is very surprising that Didier Deschamps tolerates Pogba's lack of effort as the French national team manager is notoriously strict on his players.

Jose Mourinho has placed a lot of faith in Paul Pogba and is unlikely to see it rewarded on the pitch. It just seems as though Pogba has reached his comfort level in terms of his weekly salary and is content to simply take the pay packets without actually earning them.

Hopefully, the critics (including myself) will be proven wrong and Paul Pogba will go on to be one of the best players in the world but it just isn't going to happen this season - there's too much growing up needed before August 13th.
Kristian Webb
A Manchester United fan who actually knows where Manchester is; I'm the chief writer for AccumulatorTips, ForzaSwansea and a contributor to WhatCulture's video game section. I'm a professional proofreader, content author and SEO Expert but that doesn't mean there won't be the odd grammatical error!

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