Earlier this month, Manchester United announced that they had re-signed Paul Pogba from Juventus for a fee of €105m (£89 million). The deal broke the world record for the highest transfer fee in the sport, topping the amount that Real Madrid paid out when they bought Gareth Bale from Tottenham in 2013 by a hefty £4 million.
So have the Reds just got more money than sense or has Mourinho bagged the club a bargain?
The Return of Paul Pogba to Old Trafford – What Do The Critics Have to Say?
Despite Pogba’s obvious talent, some fans and pundits simply don’t believe that the amount United have paid for the 23-year-old midfielder can be justified. It’s obvious to see why when you consider that, as football’s most expensive player, he now ranks above the likes of Messi and Ronaldo.
According to Paul Merson, the former Premier League and England international player, in an article for the Daily Star, the contribution that Pogba can make to a team simply doesn’t compare: “Pogba is not a Cristiano Ronaldo who can win you games on his own”.
“It’s just a lot of money,” he added. “I don’t see how he’s going to take a game by the scruff of the neck.”
Some critics also feel that Pogba failed to shine during Euro 2016 – and the fact that just four years ago, when he moved from Old Trafford to Juventus, he was only worth £1.5 million, makes the deal look even more absurd to many.
Pogba gave the press another excuse to question Jose Mourinho about his decision when he played his first match for the club since his return, losing the ball with his first touch.
United’s manager defended his new signing, however, telling the BBC:
“It just shows the personality of the player. His first match, his first touch was a bad one and led to a counter-attack and a free-kick and an opportunity for the opponent but he was not affected. The boy is fantastic.”
Why Paul Pogba Could Be a Bargain for the Reds
There are some compelling arguments to support Mourinho’s decision to buy the player too, however.
The third richest club in the world (behind Real Madrid and Barcelona), according to Forbes, the Reds are worth an estimated $3.32 billion (£2.3 billion). The BBC also recently claimed that in September, Manchester United is expected to announce that its annual revenues are now around £500 million, so the club’s hardly strapped for cash.
As the BBC pointed out, that means that the Pogba deal represents between 17 and 18 percent of Manchester United’s turnover, landing it in the same bracket as Wayne Rooney’s transfer fee when he arrived at the club in 2004.
In terms of generating income, according to the BBC, the arrival of yet another internationally-recognised name at Old Trafford is also sure to attract more attention to the club, resulting in sponsorship deals, as well as more ticket and merchandise sales.
Although income generation is vital in the modern game, however, Manchester United will also want to add more football trophies to their display cabinet, so their players still need to be capable of putting in world-class performances on the pitch.
Paul Pogba helped Juventus to win an impressive four Serie A, two Coppa Italia and two Supercoppa Italiana titles during his time there, and scored 34 goals in his 178 appearances. He has also played for his country 38 times, scoring 6 goals for the team.
He’s useful defensively, as well as being capable of playing outstanding attacking football, and he’s provided former teammates with some superb assists. Therefore, when the new season gets into full flow, he could well prove critics of the deal wrong.
Do you think Paul Pogba’s worth the money? Which Premier League players do you think are overpriced? Let us know below.