Paul Pogba, operates primarily as a central midfielder and is comfortable playing both in attack and defence
“I am delighted to rejoin United,” said Pogba, who will wear the No 6 shirt. “It has always been a club with a special place in my heart and I am really looking forward to working with Jose Mourinho.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Juventus and have some fantastic memories of a great club with players that I count as friends.But I feel the time is right to go back to Old Trafford. I always enjoyed playing in front of the fans and can’t wait to make my contribution to the team. This is the right club for me to achieve everything I hope to in the game.”
The current highest fee for a player was the US$112m Real Madrid splash for Tottenham’s Gareth Bale in 2013. Former Red Phil Neville believes the pricetag for Pogba can be justified.
“I think so,’ said Neville. I think you are getting one of the best midfield players in the world. I think you are getting someone who is not going to dominate a game on the ball like a Xabi Alonso or a Paul Scholes but is going to go from box to box.”
The 23-year-old left United for Juventus in 2012 having made just seven senior appearances in all competitions for the club, all from the bench.
Mourinho said the signing of Pogba was key to his plans to revitalise the club.
“Paul is one of the best players in the world and will be a key part of the United team I want to build here for the future,” he said
“He is quick, strong, scores goals and reads the game better than many players much older than he is. At 23, he has the chance to make that position his own here over many years.”
“He is young and will continue to improve; he has the chance to be at the heart of this club for the next decade and beyond.”
Is the fee itself the sign of a crazy business? Not at all. It is comparable with all the big sports franchises in US. For example, baseball club Miami Marlins signed a 12-year contract worth US$325m with Giancarlo Stanton in 2014. It is also in line with a Premier League which has sold its TV rights for the next three years, domestically and globally, for close to US$13 billion.
The talent market will always be at the mercy of a lack of supply and an excess of demand. The truth is that there aren’t many Pogbas in the world and it is Mourhino’s judgement that he is capable of making the difference.
Mourinho thought that when he tried to sign Pogba for Chelsea and he maintains that belief now. Clearly, the board has backed that judgement because they want MU to be back in Champions League and to start win silverware asap . United’s bitter rivals Manchester City have paid close to US$65m for a relatively untried centre-back John Stones. Value for money? City think so.