In the Hit or Miss series, we look at the biggest transfers and how they have integrated in with their respective new teams in terms of performance and results.
The French man’s ‘Prodigal’ return has been far from the fairy tale he and other football faithfuls hoped would happen after he famously and expensively cost current side and parent club Manchester United a world record hefty fee (£100m) for his services, a figure that caused an uproar online, many claiming that Pogba is far worth less than United were made to pay.
In recent fixtures, the 23-year-old central midfielder has also seen a slow start to life at the Theatre of Dreams, well in comparison to his usual standards (at Juventus), enduring harsh criticism for his displays more so against Chelsea where he failed to keep up with a pacey Kante who slotted in the Blues’ fourth and winning goal.
“I think that today they got a little bit shoddy in the second-half, it was embarrassing from Pogba and Herrera. Kante just walked through them. They are central midfield players” Neville(Gary) on Sky sports after the fixture.
Fans and critiques alike, criticized Pogba’s lack of goals and assists in his first few games, claiming he was a waste of money, a statement that I for one found somewhat stupid considering his role as a central midfielder. While it is true that his displays were not convincing enough, a central midfielder cannot and should not be judged by the number of goals they score even though the man from Lagny-sur-Marne has bagged three so far.
In 9 appearances for United in the premiere league this season, Pogba has an 85% pass completion rate, averaging 58.33 passes per game and with 14 chances created (averaging 2 per game), he has the most chance creation stat in a United shirt this season, something that Barcelona’s Iniesta would envy considering he has managed an 84% pass completion rate, averaging 27.80 passes in a game, though he has appeared only five times for Barca in the current La Liga campaign.
With 532 total passes in the Premiere League so far, only Henderson (735), Fernandinho (638), Kante (591 and Drinkwater (534) have completed more passes. Squawka.com’s stat comparison matrix gives Pogba a total score of 29.66 against Iniesta’s 22.43, Henderson’s 27.88 and Cazorla’s 23.30.
So you tell me, is Paul Labile Pogba a Hit or a Miss?