I have been thinking about this matter for quite some time now but having seen our match against Werder Bremen and clearly apparent deficiencies that linger I wanted to pen this now to raise discussion on the matter while the transfer window is yet open and the topic still germane to discussion.
Now I am not here to indicate that we will sign Paul Pogba; only Roman his three Amigos and Jose know if they are even considering such a move. I am just writing this to indicate that from my stand point I think we need to get this guy this transfer season or it will never happen. I am also of the view point that if we secure this guy and a credible backup striker we then have really big chance of securing a major trophy (or two) this coming season.
So why do I think we need to get Pogba?
1. He is association trained and whether we like it or not the way the FA and champions leagues rosters are set up association trained players count for virtually two squad spots and probably should be worth and additional 10mill in value just for being association trained. That we have just lost a quality association trained player in Lukaku and thus a squad position that we presently cannot fill with anyone of comparable quality nor value for money makes this even more urgent
2. He is a quality player; he may not yet be world class but even right now at his relatively tender age he is a very good player and easily in the top 12 central midfield players in the world. He was named the best young player in the just concluded world cup. There is simply no other association trained player available at that cost right now.
3. Thanks to an earlier informal bid from PSG we essentially know that Juve`s asking price for this player is about 60mill. Is Pogba worth that much? Many will immediately say absolutely no but let us think this through carefully. Were we to pursue this we would not need to pay 60mill of fresh cash to get him. We have ~25-30mill fresh in the bank from the sale of Lukaku. We are not like the Gunners used to be who just accumulate funds for the sake of it. Furthermore Juve reportedly still owe us 10-15mill from the settlement funds from the Adrian Mutu affair. At the very least thus we already have ~35-50mill of the 60 mill sum already available. Furthermore were we to go for Pogba we would need to get rid of at least one (and possibly both) of Mikel or Ramires. Conservatively speaking we should be able to get 10-15mill for one or both of these and so all said we would only need to put up 15-20mill of fresh money to get the 60mill that Juve is asking. Surely when perceived in this way this is a wise and worthwhile investment worthy of careful consideration.
4. If we secure Pogba this window we get a high quality partner for Matic. This would not be a luxury or vanity buy. This would be getting a near world class player to address a real area of need for us. Let us be honest, not one of the alternatives we have presently as a Matic partner be it MVG, Romeu, Ramires or Mikel are anywhere close in ability or quality. How about Fabregas you say? Fab fits the profile as a Regista but lacks significantly in the tackling and defensive duties dept for a CM. He is a much better CAM/ true no 10 and we would be far better served having him further up field. With Pogba we would have a true natural DM/CM/box to box hybrid player whose offensive and defensive balance is more along the lines we need to effectively partner Matic and so prevent him from being over-run when we face the higher quality opposition from the top half of the BPL and the Champions league. Finally, Pogba with matic adds a significant height advantage that we can deploy to devastating effect both offensively and defensively.
5. If we secure Pogba we effectively ensure that Vidal remains at Juve and so deprive Man U of a player who would be a major upgrade to their midfield which already looks miles better than last year with the addition of Anders Herrera. Anything we can do to ensure that ManU does not improve too much is to our advantage. We should take a page out of the masterful stroke of genius SAF showed in signing RVP and by so doing keeping him from City and also undermining Arsenal.
6. If we really think we can get Pogba cheaper next year when he has only one year left on his contract we will be sorely disappointed. This window of opportunity will not be available next year. Real have already got their Galactico for this year but these guys are insatiable and we know Ancelloti loves and admires Pogba. Rest assured if we don`t get this guy this window we will need to contend with Real next year for his signature and I don`t fancy our chances then. Worse, right now we are lucky PSG cant afford the guy without having to sell a top tier player (like maybe Cavani) after they wasted 50 mill on David Luiz and being hamstrung by their FFP troubles with UEFA but it is an open secret that Laurent Blanc wants Pogba in Paris. If we don`t get this lad now rest assured next season we will have to contend with PSG as well and you can never rule out the Catalans or frankly others like Monaco or Bayern as well come next season. The point is if we are going to do this our best chance of pulling this of is in this window.
7. Jose clearly admires the guy..that counts for something..he is not easily impressed.
8. He is well under 25. We could easily have him available at top level for at least 5 yrs and would have him at his peak were we to strike now. If his growth potential is what is anticipated we could actually have a world class central midfielder or two for the next 3-5 yrs and at the very worst he will always have decent resale value.
All in all I feel our squad still needs two quality signings to round up the squad adequately both in depth and quality. I do feel our central midfield and a no 2 striker/goalscorer (preferably one comfortable playing out wide like PEA of Dortmund or pure fox in the hole poacher comfortable with the ball at his feet and able to play of a typical target man no 9 like Roberto Firmino would be ideal)are the positions that need strengthening. Of these two I see Pogba as the tailor made solution to that central mid need and getting him would not negatively impact our international player complement of 17 while increasing our depth and quality through an additional invaluable association trained player spot. Your views and thoughts are welcome.