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Pogba: should he stay or should he go?


Anyone else getting bored of Pogba? To be honest, at the moment I don’t really care if he leaves or not.

Back in 1995 when Cantona was in France intent on leaving after the way he felt he’d been treated in England after the famous kung-fu kick, I was on the verge of a breakdown. Granted I was about 12 at the time, but that just felt so much more important.

Eric was the club. He’d done everything to get us to where we were. He was our leader and him leaving then would have been unthinkable. He might not have been a World Cup winner, but he was our hero.

Pogba simply can’t be described in the same way or held in the same esteem.

When he first came back from Juventus he spoke about how much the club meant to him. How he felt he was home and how happy he was to see the staff around Carrington again – the kitmen and the tea lady.

Turns out he doesn’t really care about the club. But he wants us to long for him to stay and to panic every time we see another of his soundbites in the media.

I’m not panicking. I’d be quite happy if he did one. And I’m sure you would be, too. We’ve not seen it on the pitch and I doubt we ever will.

This week he’s been saying: “My future is currently in Manchester, I still have a contract, I’m playing there at the moment, but who knows what will happen in the next few months.”

Well actually, Paul, I know.

You’ll probably score the odd goal, dick about with it in midfield, dye your hair a bit, dance on Instagram, whinge and do a few more Adidas adverts. And therein lies the conundrum for the club and everyone’s favourite ex-banker Ed Woodward. Pogba is a huge commercial asset.

There were rumours when he first signed that the club made his transfer fee back within weeks due to shirt sales alone. I don’t know how much of this is true, but one thing I do know is that he’s the poster boy of Adidas at one of their flagship clubs.

He’s all over the club’s advertising and he’s a huge commercial draw. Ed must be continually licking his lips to have a marketing asset like that at his disposal.

Things might not be going that well on the pitch this season, but things have never been better off it.

Across three weeks in August, United’s share price grew exponentially on the New York Stock Exchange, hitting a record high of £18.50 per share. The club is now valued at a staggering £3.1bn.

The commercial side is so strong with the list of official partners growing by the day. I bet we all got excited when we signed the deal for our global mattress and pillow partner, our official isotonic drinks partner in Indonesia and my personal favourite – Gulf Oil International as our Official Lubricant Partner.

So business is booming. The Glazers are happy. Ed is happy. But Jose isn’t.

Pogba is our star name. He’s our big draw and without him endorsing these products by proxy of the club, we probably don’t have the same pulling power on the global market.

There’s no doubt the Glazers would hate to lose him. It must have been part of the thinking behind bringing him back in the first place.

If he did go, what would we get for him in the current transfer market? £100 million? A little more at a push. Maybe less.

For that money we could get Harry Maguire, a couple of unknown kids, and maybe a £30million average Jose signing (remember how much we paid for Victor Lindelöf).

For Ed and the Glazers, it’s clear the potential replacements simply won’t have the star personality and the marketing value of Pogba.

It’s also doubtful if it would actually improve us on the pitch considering Jose’s track record.

There’s no doubt the manager wants him out, the board want him to stay, and the player himself is waiting to see what Barca do and if Ed has the balls to dump Jose.

This one has plenty of legs in the drama stakes off the pitch, but less so on.

By the way, apparently he was crap for France last night against Germany.

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