The Importance of Paul Pogba at Manchester United

Connect in the back of the net

Paul Pogba, the man that causes annoyance to certain media types by simply visiting his barber. Well, he happens to be really good at the old game they call football.

Good enough for Manchester United Football Club, England’s most successful, to spend a then world-record £89m on him despite letting him go for less than £1m in July 2012. That for some, an embarrassing move and for the majority a brilliant signing.

Pogba has since proved to be just that, regardless of your thoughts on letting a young player go and spending crazy amounts to get him back.

 

United’s best player

For me, there is no doubt that Paul Pogba is Manchester United’s most important outfield player. Possibly at the club, but Spanish Goalkeeper David De Gea would hold leading claims for that label.

Since joining United, Pogba has been influential to say the least. He made 51 appearances in the 2016/17 season (his first back at United) a season that brought the Red Devil’s first ever Europa League trophy and the League Cup, a title that Jose Mourinho has made a point of winning in his spells at Chelsea.

Pogba scored 9 goals and created 6 last season, he’s on course to outdo his 2016/17 performance with a third of the goals so far, having made 42 less appearances and more than half of the season still to be played.

 

Matic freedom

Manchester United signed Nemanja Matic from Chelsea in the summer, this being a key signing for Pogba.

Last season, United lacked the ability to give Pogba as much freedom as he needs to prosper. At times, Mourinho would be forced into playing Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera and have them sit in more defensive positions to get the best out of Pogba.

Matic, provides that cushion for Paul to go forward and not worry about his defensive duties as much as, for example, the struggle he and Herrera had in the 4-0 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last season.

 

United with/without Pogba comparisons

When watching United with Paul Pogba and then United without the 24-year-old Frenchman, I feel you get two different propositions and the stats don’t disagree!

In games up to the 6th November, this season that he’s has played in, United have had more than double the chances than that of games without him (14.6 chances per game in comparison to 7.0 without him). They are also almost double on ‘big chances’ per game with him and the same for goals.

There is no question that with Pogba, United are a bigger threat to the opposition.

 

Written by Jordan Hackett

Follow Jordan on Twitter @Devildart180

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