Stats reveal Paul Pogba struggling at Manchester United


Although it is obviously very early in Paul Pogba’s second stint as a Manchester United player, the French superstar has found it difficult to hit the ground running at Old Trafford. The Red Devils notoriously paid Italian giants Juventus £89 million to get their former player back in their squad, a world-record transfer fee. Not only did Manchester United break a transfer record, but they also had to fork up around £18 million in fees to super agent Mino Raiola as well.

On top of the nearly £107 million in which the club has paid just to register Pogba as a United player, the Frenchman is also reportedly on £300,000 per week wages (which works out to about £15.6 million per season). With the astronomical amount of money being invested in the 23-year-old, United brass, and fans, will hope that the slow progress to start the current campaign is merely just a little rust.

Paul PogbaStats
Shot accuracy19%
Tackles won9
Tackles lost10
Key passes6

Pogba, however, isn’t the first high-profile player who failed to quickly adapt to his new team. Gareth Bale, the former transfer fee record holder, wasn’t exactly a fan-favorite at the Bernabeu during his freshman season in Spain. The Wales international was even booed by home fans 18 months into his Madrid career. Nevertheless, Bale is now one of the most important players in the Real side, and one of the top wingers in all of Europe.

Arsenal’s Mesut Özil and Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling (both young with high transfer fees, too) were also ripped by fans and the media following their slow starts with new teams. Yet Özil is the reigning Premier League assist leader, and Sterling is flourishing under new boss Pep Guardiola at City.

While Pogba should be given time to acclimate to the system under manager Jose Mourinho, it is also quite fair to criticize the player as well. One area in particular that the Frenchman needs to improve on is shooting. Since the start of the 2015/16 season, and during league and Europe competitions, Pogba has registered a shot accuracy of just 33%. The statistic looks even more abysmal when examining it alongside other comparable players.

Shot accuracy:

Pogba – 33% (62/187)
Modric – 49% (24/49)
Xhaka – 47% (28/60)
Rakitic – 46% (34/74)
Koke – 43% (30/70)

Not only is Pogba’s shot accuracy significantly lower than other top midfielders, but the 23-year-old also takes an abnormal amount of shots from outside of the box, with little success.

Shots from outside of the area in league and Europe play since start of 2015/16 season:

Pogba – 125 (2 goals)
Xhaka – 44 (1 goal)
Rakitic – 37 (3 goals)
Modric – 37 (2 goals)
Koke – 34 (0 goals)

Pogba’s willingness to shot from range can kill momentum that Manchester United has spent time building up, and will waste significant scoring chances as well. There is no doubting his ability, but Pogba needs to mature and be more of a team player to succeed at United. Former Juventus teammates Gigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini have both hit out against Pogba for these such issues since his United switch.

Much like how Arsenal players were ripped for taking too many selfies in the past, Pogba should perhaps worry less about his barber shop visits and dabbing, and more about on-field problems. The young midfielder possesses plenty of talent, and will most likely be a fantastic player for United going forward; however, a little more focus would do Pogba well.

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