Paul Pogba is the big mystery when it comes to how he will fit into Ralf Rangnick’s system when he returns from injury.
The Frenchman could be a big attacking weapon in Rangnick’s 4-2-2-2, if played as one of the attacking midfielders.
By time United take on Atletico Madrid in late February, Pogba could be entrenched in United’s new system and making an impact.
United may need him at his very best to unlock a tough Atletico defence, and opposing boss Diego Simeone recognises the talent in his locker.
Speaking to Goal in 2015, Simeone raved: “Paul Pogba is a special player. He has great vision, is very good at timing his runs into the box and he scores goals. That makes him a very complete footballer and adds so much to the midfield for Juventus.
“His presence helps improve the team’s overall play and he gives them balance in the midfield, which is such an important part of the team.”
Pogba’s form for Manchester United has been patchy during his six seasons at Manchester United, and yet, at his very best he is a truly outstanding player, like the one Simeone describes.
Even though we would like a resolution, the way Pogba is playing his contract situation so far, it is likely to remain open-ended in the second half of the season too.
Pogba appears determined to leave as a free agent, and to generate extra interest from elite clubs in his signature, he really needs a big Champions League campaign.
Strong performances in the knockout stages may persuade the likes of Real Madrid or PSG to pay Pogba the high wages he is seeking.
United can temporarily benefit from this extra motivation, potentially at Atletico’s expense. These are big games in which big players have to step up.
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