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Remember the Name Paul Pogba, A Man United Star In The Making

On August 5, Manchester United honored Paul Scholes with a testimonial match in celebration of his retirement after a distinguished 17 year career with the Red Devils. It was a fantastic night for Scholes who closed his career with a trademark strike from 25 yards to open the scoring. In the 75th minute, Scholes was subbed out of the match to a thunderous roar from the Old Trafford crowd. However, Sir Alex may have intended for the substitution to be a symbolic changing of the guard as a promising French youngster named Paul Pogba, who ran onto the pitch in his debut for Manchester United.

Instead of focusing on obtaining established stars like Wesley Sneijder or Samir Nasri, Sir Alex has decided to lean towards his prestigious youth academy to solve their midfield problems. Tom Cleverley has already dazzled in his first matches and other youngsters like Ravel Morrison and Ryan Tunnicliffe have been tipped to make their rise to senior football in the near future. For now, United may be looking at a tall, wiry 18 year old in Paul Pogba who has impressed enough to have already earned first-team consideration.

Hailing from the outskirts of Paris, Pogba made his switch to Manchester United from Le Havre, a French Ligue 2 squad at the age of 16 in 2009. The deal, which was contested by the French club as a form of “illegal poaching” was strongly refuted by Manchester United who had FIFA back them up by declaring no wrong-doing had been done. Once an official deal had been struck between the two sides, Pogba made an electrifying debut in a U18 match against Crewe Alexandria which confirmed what all the commotion was about.

Pogba continued to get better throughout the season with the U18 squad. He showed why United fought hard to get him as he showed an array of skills and talent which was complemented by his domineering physical presence in the midfield. Residing in the central midfield, many have predicted that Pogba’s physical presence would make him no more than a defensive, holding midfielder. However, those who have watched him play see that he offers way more talent than your average conservative midfielder. A noteworthy feature of the young Frenchman’s skill set is his tendency to produce the remarkable. Pogba has scored a series of lively goals from long-distance which have shown incredible power and curving ability.

Showing great ingenuity, excellent vision and surprisingly good ball control for someone of his stature, Pogba continued to impress as time passed and proved that he was quickly becoming a standout that couldn’t be ignored. His rising status as a promising footballer of tomorrow was showcased in the FA Youth Cup Semifinal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. With the pressure on him after teammate Ravel Morrison was suspended, Pogba produced a master class performance showing great physicality in winning balls in the air (he scored a goal on a header), and displaying remarkable ball control and dribbling for a player of his size. He dictated a large portion of United’s attack and helped his squad to victory on that day as well as in the final which lead to the United youngsters winning the FA Youth Cup.

As a result of his recent performances, the midfielder was considered by Sir Alex to be a candidate for senior football this season. He stated, “We’ve got Darren Fletcher to come back.” “Michael Carrick, who tends to develop more around November/December. And we’ve got a young boy Pogba who’s showing great promise for us. He came on in a couple of games in terms of progress with the youth team, we’re quite positive about him.” He also added, “I mean if we hold Pogba back, what’s going to happen? He’s going to leave. You know, in a couple of years time when his contract is going to finish. So we have to give him the opportunity to see how he can do in the first-team and he’s got great ability, plus he’s got the physique and athleticism.”

Paul Pogba has been often compared to fellow French midfielders like Patrick Vieira, Lassana Diarra, and Abou Diaby. Unlike Vieira and Diarra, Pogba has proven to be more of a box-to-box midfielder like Diaby in that he can play well on both sides of the pitch. Pogba’s versatility will work to his advantage as he shows excellent stamina and is adept at skills associated with well-rounded box-to-box midfiedlers in terms of passing, holding onto the ball, and tackling.

As the season progress, the footballing world will likely catch their first glimpses of Paul Pogba. United’s squad is already shockingly young as Sir Alex looks to set in the pieces that will allow Manchester United to continue to prosper even after the Scot finally retires. Like most other fans, I trust Sir Alex with the direction of the club which looks pretty bright in the days ahead with the likes of Tom Cleverley and Paul Pogba around amongst others.

Paul Pogba is a name you’re going to remember.

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  1. Gordius

    September 23, 2011 at 6:32 am

    “Steve Simmonsen was regarded was good as David James”…. that good, eh?

  2. perry

    August 22, 2011 at 6:05 am

    whether hes playing against youngsters or not hes shown he had the ability hes scored some wonder goals that not even the best goal keeper in the world could of saved wait til he plays first team and scores a 40 yard beauty then the whole world will know about pogba!!!

  3. spy shop

    August 22, 2011 at 2:35 am

    Pogba will be a star – I can’t wait to see him playing for the 1st team.

  4. Taylor

    August 22, 2011 at 12:26 am

    Hopefully he pans out in the future. But a lot of things can happen. Lee Sharpe was brilliant before meningitis, lifetsyle and the emergence of Ryan Giggs. Keith Gillespie was regarded as the next Ryan Giggs. Same with Phil Mulryne. Luke Chadwick was also regarded as future star.
    And this can happen at any club: Francis Jeffers was highly regarded by Arsene Wenger. Steve Simmonsen was regarded was good as David James, etc.

    • PaulfromMiami

      August 22, 2011 at 12:36 am

      I doubt he will suffer from the hype since he is not british. You know how British media likes to hype up british players only to bring them down the next for not being good enough. Look at what the media is already doing with Cleverley, Josh McEchran–who hasn’t even played a full season yet. Look at Jordan Henderson who had 1 month and a half where he was playing slightly over average but was bad for the rest of the year; the media hyped him up, liverppool sign him and he’s been average at best.

    • MUFCforlife

      August 22, 2011 at 2:16 am

      I feel like you can go on about youngsters who made it and others who didn’t. Clubs are going to continue to bring up promising youngsters because that’s how they partly stay competitive. Sure many will fail but the idea of building up someone like a Ryan Giggs or more recently a Jack Wislhere type player is what we’ll make clubs continue to develop youngsters. I think not being British definitely helps Pogba and in my mind, the future looks bright for him even though no one knows for sure how he’ll or any youngster will ever pan out.

  5. Kubwa

    August 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    I actually see a lot of comparison with Pogba and Yaya Toure

    • MUFCforlife

      August 21, 2011 at 11:54 pm

      That’s a pretty sensible comparison in my mind.

  6. ThompsonLives

    August 21, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Yay, another ManYoo deepthroat piece. Wankers.

  7. d

    August 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Pogba is as good as Pele. The best young player i have seen. H e has the strength of Viera and the skill of Pele. A great buy from Le Harve!

  8. Guy

    August 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    “I’m glad to see Fergie always has his eye for the future.”

    IMHO, this is what makes SAF who he is. Is he always right? Of course not, but he does seem to have an eye for a good chance, whether youngster or veteran. I’m sure a lot of credit goes to his staff, but in the end they are his creatures. He pulls the final string. Hard to argue with his record.

    • MUFCforlife

      August 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm

      Agreed haha. Like you said, its important that Fergie surrounds himself with a series of coaches and scouts who offer their own perspectives and eyes for talent. I feel the most important thing is to surround yourself with a series of professionals who will offer their own views even if it goes against the manager’s. It allows managers like Fergie to get varied opinions into making decisions and you avoid bad situations that come from being surrounded by a series of “yes” men.

  9. PaulfromMiami

    August 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Don’t forget Ravel Morrison too(if he can get past his legal troubles). I don’t think Paul Pogba is overrated at all. But we still have to remember that he is playing against other youngsters. Although i have no doubt that he will impress once he gets on the pitch.

    • MUFCforlife

      August 21, 2011 at 4:56 pm

      I haven’t forgotten about Morrison though his legal issues are a liability that may be too hard to deal with. Everyone who comes up plays against other youngsters but its the promise which he’s shown already that makes me excited about his prospects ahead against any form of senior competition. I’m glad to see Fergie always has his eye for the future.

  10. Temi Getfema

    August 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    It will sound good and ideal if he can come out to showcase what he holds and prosper. Good luck to him

  11. Patience is a virtue

    August 21, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    haha remember the name !! cherno samba …franny jeffers …haha and every other overrated failed youngster i’ll wait until he plays first team football if i was u ..crewe are hardly stiff opposition

    • MUFCforlife

      August 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      Everybody has to start from somewhere. There will always young footballers who make it and others who won’t. Pogba will make you eat your words though.

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