Why Paul Pogba is the perfect tonic for a shot-shy Manchester United team
Aston Villa were relegated from the English Premier League after a torrid season that saw them collect just 17 points – they averaged 10 shots per game in the process. By comparison, Manchester United posted the second best possession figures in the division but only fared slightly better than the Villans in the shots per game department, averaging 11.3 per game. This simply wasn’t good enough for a club of the magnitude of the Red Devils and Louis van Gaal was to pay the ultimate price, despite tasting victory in the FA Cup final.
José Mourinho had been lined up as his successor for quite some time and the former Chelsea boss didn’t disappoint at his unveiling, getting in a few jabs at rival managers, while fending off the press with an assertion that his track-record proves he gives youth a chance. He also gave a clear indication that he is just one player short of having a squad, primed to take on all-comers with an ‘aggressive’ title challenge and is intent on getting the player he referred to as his ‘Fourth Specialist’.
Paul Pogba, who was in the process of helping to guide France to the Euro 2016 final quickly emerged as the front-runner for this esteemed role so what exactly does the Juventus star bring to the table? Oulala took a look at how he stacks up against all of the other midfielders plying their trade in Europe’s top five leagues.
Mourinho is a master of winning football games. He sides can win dirty, park the bus when needed or play entertaining, attacking football. The latter will be required if he is to win over the Old Trafford faithful and with numerous sources now reporting that Manchester United are on the verge of submitting a £100m bid, it will test Juve’s resolve to the hilt, if they are to fend of his pursuers.
Pogba’s 8 goals and 12 assists was a terrific return for a Serie A midfielder but it’s his 3.5 shots per game that really catches the eye. How many times did Frank Lampard rifle in a 20 yard winner for Chelsea – it’s a trait that can win tight games and Pogba certainly fits the bill, as well as strengthening a spine that now contains David de Gea and Zlatan Ibrahimović. If he does sign, his fantasy football price tag might not quite match his market valuation but he might just make the difference in a contest or two when the ‘sweat‘ is on. Don’t expect to see 14 other Premier League clubs averaging more shots per game than Manchester United under Mourinho either!
Is Paul Pogba about to be confirmed as Mourinho’s latest signing?