Paul Pogba’s Manchester United future has been in question for far too long. Aside from his first season back at Old Trafford, it feels as though talk has always been rife that he could be off again.
Pogba’s agent is never far from the headlines. And that was the case again last week. But one wonders if United would have been better off ditching the Frenchman years ago.
One player who could have benefited from Pogba’s early exit is Angel Gomes.
Much has been written about the chances afforded to Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira rather than the talented young Englishman. But Pogba’s presence may have also played a part.
Despite the World Cup winner’s obvious talent, United fans could count on two hands the number of truly brilliant performances he has delivered since returning to Old Trafford. And yet he has racked up 178 appearances for the Red Devils.
Gomes was nowhere near as lucky. Prior to his summer exit, the attacking midfielder managed just 10 senior outings.
Yet since moving to Lille – and subsequently on loan to Boavista – Gomes has scored three goals and set up four more in just eight outings.
A missed opportunity
Pogba’s £89million move to United in 2016 (BBC) never really got going. Two trophies in his first full campaign was as good as it got and there has been talk of a second exit ever since.
United should have focused on players who could become legends at Old Trafford; not a man who has never been as good as his inflated reputation suggests.
Gomes was tipped for superstardom years before he became the Premier League’s youngest ever player. It is only frustrating that he left without getting the chance to shine.
We will never know what might have been with Gomes if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had shown more faith. But it is clear that any manager would struggle to overlook a former world-record signing.
The only issue is just how many times Pogba has been picked without justification.
It;s not Pogba’s fault Gomes left – but if the Frenchman had been moved on earlier, it could have worked out very differently for the England youth international.
By the time Gomes is Pogba’s age, expect him to be performing far more consistently than the Frenchman has for years. Only time will tell if it is in the red of United after another sentimental return.
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