Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has finished top scorer for the club this season scoring 16 goals, a great return for a player who plays in central midfield. But despite this, there is a widely held view among pundits and fans that the 26-year-old is holding the team back.
The Frenchman was berated by his own fans after the 2-0 loss at home to Cardiff City in the final game of the season. While yelling abuse at him, the supporters could be heard calling on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to sell him.
All this seemed unlikely just a few months back. After the appointment of Solskjaer as head-coach in December, it seemed to reignite life into Pogba’s dwindling club career. Manchester United went on to lose only one of their next 17 games during this period in which the French international scored nine goals and racked up several assists.
But the spell was short-lived as both he and the club lost form as United slipped to sixth place in the table with Pogba scoring only two goals in his last 15 games. Former Hull City full back Liam Rosenoir said on Sky Sports that Pogba effected his teammates negatively.
"Pogba is not the right player that United needs right now. Is he a world-class footballer? Yes. Is he the type of player that you can use your values, your structure on, make him leader of the team? He's not. He's just not the right fit.
"Liverpool and City are so disciplined. I remember Carrick, his positioning, his selflessness, he made players around him better. Pogba makes players around him worse players, because they constantly have to fill in where he's floating off."
Pogba played brilliantly in the 2018 World Cup as he led France to the title, scoring the third goal in the 4-2 win over Croatia in the final. Many believed that the victory would help kick-start his club career, but despite his impressive stats for United this season it’s clear he is not the same player he is when he plays for his country.
He has been linked with a move away to Spanish giants Real Madrid with their manager Zinedine Zidane admitting he rates him highly in late March according to the BBC. "I know him personally," said former France captain. "He's a midfielder who knows how to defend and how to attack. But he is not my player, he is at Manchester. He has always said that, after Manchester, Madrid has always interested him. So, when his experience at Manchester ends, why not come here to Madrid?"
Former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson said on ESPN, “Would it be best for Paul Pogba to go now? I think it would be, I’ll sell him now for Manchester United’s benefit and for Paul Pogba’s benefit. It hasn’t worked for him.”
Manchester United fans are mostly divided on whether they believe the club should get rid of him. But after the abuse he received in the final game of the season, along with many other factors, it seems highly likely that the Frenchman will leave the club this summer.