Paul Pogba expressed his desire to leave Manchester United, confirming what we have all suspected for weeks.
His comments were a damning indictment of his biggest weakness, a soft mentality.
Three words uttered by Pogba, ‘a new challenge’, come as a bitter blow to him, and those who have supported him for three seasons.
Plain and simply, Pogba has not succeeded with his current challenge.
What gives him the right to demand a new one?
The difference with Pogba and Eden Hazard at Chelsea is stark.
Hazard left Chelsea this summer for Real Madrid, with his head held high. He previously won the league title for Chelsea and was able to call his shot and walk away.
Pogba won the Europa League in his first season at United, and it’s been downhill from there.
Let’s not dress it up. The situation at United doesn’t look great at the moment.
We are facing another season in the Europa League after a sixth placed finish.
This is a moment where Pogba needs to dig in, and show his fighting spirit. United need a leader.
But this is the problem with Pogba, and why he has failed on the pitch for United.
His talent is undeniable, but when it gets tough, he can’t hack it.
When was the last ‘big game’ he influenced? You have to go back to February in the FA Cup against Chelsea. Prior to that, the moments are even more sparse.
United need a leader with a strong mentality, on and off the pitch. Pogba’s comments about wishing to quit expose once again that this is a trait he lacks.
United can dig in and keep him for another season. But ultimately if he does want to be here, the performances and results are unlikely to improve.