PAUL Pogba's inevitable exit from Manchester United this summer should come as a relief to the club not be seen as a negative.
Yes, the World Cup winner is a talented player but he also appears to be an egotistical one and a player that seems to be living on the hype that surrounds him rather than perform on the pitch. Pogba always seems to relish international duty. Last week he described his time away with the French team as the ‘oxygen’ he needed away from United.
That could be because the French media can be biased towards him and are less likely to criticise and give him the harsh analysis of his performance that the English media do. Yes, perhaps at times the English press can be too critical of the player but likewise, they can also over-praise his performances, the sad fact is that over his six seasons at United the former is what is written more about Pogba.
The way Pogba conducts himself with his behaviour on and off the pitch for United, suggests the actions of a player that believes he is doing the club a favour by playing for them. I’ve played with players with similar attitudes and they do have a negative effect in the dressing room which is why I feel that the majority of players that remain at Old Trafford next season will be happy to see the end of the Paul Pogba circus in the summer.
They would be very reluctant to participate in training if they didn’t feel 100 percent or that they just needed a rest.
When they do train; sessions aren’t as enjoyable because they are constantly looking for attention and more often than not end up disrespecting their teammates by throwing their arms in the air when mistakes are made. Or those sort of players always seem to blame others for their mistakes.
I’ve been at clubs where I just couldn’t wait to leave when there were players like this in the dressing room.
Will the next United manager be happy to see Pogba walk out the exit door at Old Trafford? I think so. I do believe his intentions would have been to prove people wrong when he returned to United in 2016 after leaving the club in 2012, but I don’t think him remaining at Old Trafford would be driven by anything other than financial benefits.
United are in another transitional period and they need to learn from others' mistakes and realise that keeping a player that values himself far more than he is worth is only going to cost the club both financially and with results on the pitch.
As I write this, I must admit I do so with frustration, it's an annoyance at the special treatment that players with a reputation at the top of football receive. As a former player, who played at a moderate level, I never had the luxury of having one good performance one week and then go missing for the next several, like Pogba does, and still be in a position to demand and be offered a pay rise.
United have foolishly reportedly offered the French World Cup winner €450,000-a-week for not reaching expectations and underperforming for the past several months. Whereas during my experience, one poor performance could see you out of the team and another could mean it is unlikely you will have a future at the club. The thought of being offered or demanding a new contract was only on the table if you were showing exceptional performances week-in-week out.
However on the other hand, were United somehow to convince Pogba to stay, and having invested over €90m on capturing the player in 2016, the player would be a sellable asset no matter how poor his performances were, and United could recapture some of that money by selling the player rather than him leaving on a free in the summer. Whereas were players in the lower leagues to stay and perform poorly, clubs are never going to sell the player and then the player becomes just an expense rather than an asset.
Saying that, Pogba leaving will help United.