He was virtually anonymous at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday as Juventus crashed to a second defeat in two Serie A matches. In fact, he’s cut a frustrated figure of late for the Old Lady with some wayward shooting from distance and some silly fouls and bookings but there is no denying Paul Pogba is a truly top draw individual and perhaps the biggest name that English teams could hope to snap up in this transfer window.
He truly is a freak of nature. Much like Yaya Toure for Manchester City, Pogba really is that midfield enforcer and there aren’t too many of those about with the ability he has. His power and strength alone make him an incredibly valuable asset for almost any Premier League team. He’d add dynamism to the Chelsea midfield and give Arsenal a more powerful look in the centre. Many people eulogise about ‘number tens’ or second strikers that create chances but the steel behind that is equally key; Arsenal won the title with Patrick Viera and Emmanuel Petit providing that fearsome barricade.
But this guy can play also. Certainly at times last season both in the league and in the Champions League, Pogba often proved to be the difference in tight games. A superbly executed outside of the foot volley from outside the box against Napoli two years ago is testament of the Frenchman’s outstanding technical ability. Also last season, of his eight Serie A goals, only three were scored from inside the box which showcases – like Toure – his danger if opposition defenders and midfielders do not close him down quick enough.
So as aforementioned, he does fit the bill for two Premier League teams in particular. For Chelsea, Nemanja Matic would have an equally tall, equally strong compatriot standing by him with Cesc Fabregas currently flattering to deceive in this moment in that role. That would allow Fabregas to sit in front and get himself more involved with the attackers. With Arsenal he would help Francis Couqelin in his duties but could power forward in the good knowledge his fellow Frenchman would always be sat back. And with an impressive 84% pass completion rate in Italy’s top flight last season, he would surely fit into both of these teams’ passing philosophies.
His price would of course be inflated but who’s isn’t in today’s market? Clubs would probably be looking in excess of £70 million to land Juve’s star man but the fact they have sold Alturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez already suggests that every player has their price if they wish to move on. He may take a month or so to adjust to life back in England but he would be sure to make a strong impact on any team if he joined them before the deadline slams shut.