‘The ideal signing to lift Man United back to where they belong – top spot’

first_imgThe Old Lady will be keen to retain the services of her prized asset, but with a host of teams across the continent showing their interest, it will become increasingly difficult to hold onto the 23-year-old this summer. Those close to United can already testify to his ability as Pogba came through the ranks before departing to Juventus in 2012. They will have been watching his development with their head in the hands having witnessed the youngster go from strength to strength in the years following his exit. Football stats experts WhoScored.com assess what could be the biggest transfer of the summer…On July 5, Jose Mourinho re-announced himself to the Premier League with his first press conference as Manchester United manager. The Portuguese was brought in as Louis van Gaal’s replacement and he quickly went about his business in front of the assembled media, dropping soundbite after soundbite for the press. There was one snippet that will have had Red Devils supporters salivating, though. With regards to the club’s summer transfer targets, he said: “From these targets we have three, until we have the fourth we are working hard on that.” With Ibrahimovic acquired and Mkhitaryan expected to follow suit, United boast the offensive options required to hurt any team. With Pogba operating in a deeper role, the duo would thrive in the final third. An average of 1.5 key passes per game was one of the better returns in Italy’s top tier last term, while no player registered more Serie A assists than Pogba (12). He would be able to at least match that return in the Premier League given the offensive personnel that would operate ahead of him for United. Scoring also comes as no problem to Pogba, particularly if he is able to break forward as he so regularly does for Juventus. Once he gains a head of steam, he’s immensely difficult to stop and if the opportunity presents itself, chances are the France international will try his luck at goal, particularly from distance. Only Napoli pair Gonzalo Higuain (5.2) and Lorenzo Insigne (3.6) had more shots per Serie A game last term than Pogba (3.5), a figure that was again more than any United player. However, he could be about to go full circle if reports are to be believed and it goes without saying that Pogba would provide the necessary drive from midfield that United currently lack. Indeed, only Franco Vazquez (3.5) and Bruno Peres (3.1) completed more successful dribbles per game than Pogba (2.9) in Serie A last season, reinforcing his statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of ‘dribbling’.  Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have already been confirmed, while the arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan is widely expected this week. The fourth player, though, remains to be seen. Reports this week strongly suggest Paul Pogba is on the verge of a sensational return to Old Trafford. The France international, who gained a better WhoScored.com rating (7.81) than any other player in Serie A last season, has been strongly linked with a move away from Juventus for the best part of 12 months now.center_img 1 Seven goals from outside the box in the last two Serie A seasons was second only to Miralem Pjanic (8) in that period. When taking into account United scored just 12 goals from outside the penalty area in the same period a direct threat from deep is somewhat essential. All in all, Pogba is considered the ideal midfield player required to help United back to the summit of England’s top tier.  A world record £100m bid is supposedly in the pipeline, but United have to spend big in order to re-establish themselves as the Premier League’s best side and the capture of Pogba would go a long way to ensuring they find themselves back atop England’s top tier for the foreseeable future.For more stats on Paul Pogba, click here to view his WhoScored.com player page Comparatively, that was more than any other player for Manchester United in the Premier League last season, though that in part was due to Louis van Gaal’s possession focused demands, thus limiting the creative personnel in the squad. With Mourinho at the helm, the players should be freed from the regimented approach that made United so monotonous to watch in the last two seasons. As such, a player of Pogba’s ilk would greatly improve United’s chances of rediscovering their best form.last_img

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