He doesn’t look the shy, retiring type. Gold lamé backpacks and matching trainers certainly make Paul Pogba stand out in the crowd, even in America. He is also nearly as well known for his hairstyles as his football so what can Manchester United fans expect on the pitch?

Well there will be a few who already know what to expect as he only left the club four years ago having been a youth and reserve team player there. In fact it was his perceived lack of opportunity which resulted in him leaving for Juventus when only nineteen years of age.

Now, unless he suffers a dramatic loss of form, he will be a regular and one of the first, if not the first, names on the teamsheet. He will be able to thumb his nose at Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager responsible for his leaving the club in the first place. This, however would be unlikely as Pogba appears to be bigger than that sort of behaviour.

The interesting question here is; will Jose Mourinho be able to build his team around him considering he will be one of the last to arrive? You would certainly think that, for the amount of money he has cost, that would be the general idea.

It depends, of course, on how long Mourinho has known that Pogba will be returning to Manchester. He will not have been kept in the dark in the same way as have the supporters. No, he will have been informed every step of the way and will have known for some time that he was getting his man.

In truth, teams are rarely built around midfielders. They are usually built around centre backs or centre forwards. The heart of the defence or of the attack is usually the starting point.

With that in mind, Mourinho has already bought one centre half and has said that he wants another. I agree with him completely. I am not convinced with any of the current crop, including Smalling, and only Bailly looks comfortable with the ball at his feet. The rest of them treat it like a hot potato and can’t get rid quickly enough.

So another centre half comes in and then Jose can make his selection around Bailly and the new man.

Pogba, in fairness, should be able to get into any team in the world, however it is constructed. That does not mean that he isn’t an integral part of it. It does mean that, at times, he has to be the most important player on the pitch. He is a game changer and a game winner. He has the ability to be the best player for United in two out of every three games and this is the consistency he will be expected to achieve.

Manchester United have their fair share of midfielders already at the club. So much so that Mourinho could certainly sell three or even four without any real problem. If, for example, he sold Lingard, Schweinsteiger, Januzaj and Fellaini, he would still be left with Schneiderlin, Depay, Herrera, Mata, Rooney and Carrick. A maximum of three of these would be selected to play alongside Pogba, more likely it would be two in Jose’s favourite formation as I expect he would want Ibrahimovic up front as a lone striker for most games, certainly in tough away games and in Europe.

So it would appear that Paul Pogba, after an absence of four years, is going to get what he originally wanted at Manchester United. He didn’t have to leave to prove what many already knew and he would definitely have broken into the first team at Old Trafford sooner rather than later.

Let’s hope that the impatience of youth has now become the consistency of maturity.


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