An EFL Cup, a major European trophy and all the talk of rekindling an old flame; one would say Paul Pogba had a relatively good season at Manchester United.
Much was made of his high profile return to Old Trafford- how he left an apprentice and returned a master- but nothing hogged all the headlines quite like his record breaking transfer fee.
Measured attacks have been made of the France international all season long, often with reference to haircuts and the £89m paid to Juventus, but that just underlines the scrutiny and level of expectation for the midfielder.
Nonetheless the 24-year old still hovered head and shoulder above the criticism, guiding United back into the Champions League on his return with a master class performance against Ajax in the Europa League final.
But the key to unlocking Pogba’s fullest potential- for the sake of ending the haircut tomfoolery- may very well lie in signing Fabinho from AS Monaco.
First things first
Pogba created fifty-seven chances for Manchester United last season, as you wouldn’t expect anything less from a player of his stature. However, only four of the chances translated into goals.
This is not only a vivid gesture of the deplorable state of United’s finishing last season, but tellingly, a palatial indication of how Paul Pogba’s quality has been sparingly used.
Seeing as Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s stay at Old Trafford has been short-lived, one Alvaro Morata ticks all the boxes for the kind forward that would truly translate Pogba’s quality.
His defensive responsibilities alongside Ander Herrera, with the occasional rotation between Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini, have greatly outweighed his attacking prowess.
Signing Fabinho would make a world of difference, as it would translate Manchester United into a more rounded side, with the imperious trio of Pogba, Herrera and the Brazilian in the middle of the park.
Pogba would fit neatly in a free role, predominantly orchestrating attacks coupled with occasional defensive duties when called upon.
As such, the Red Devils would do best to sign the Brazilian.
Willing to join
If ever there was an invitation to prompt a transfer in football, then Fabinho’s plea came in the most unsubtle of forms.
The 23-year old issued the most profound come-and-get-me augury to Manchester United while speaking to a sports network in Brazil; sparking endless rumors of a fancied move to Old Trafford.
Mourinho is on fine course to revamp United into a title winning side, and what better way than to acquire the services of the talented youngster?
Fabinho’s willingness and commitment to working with Jose is evident, but whether the transfer materializes remains to be seen.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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