Paul Pogba decided to leave Manchester United after an ultimately underwhelming five-season reign since joining them in 2016. Now, the Frenchman returns to the club which made him famous and granted him the blockbuster move all those years ago.
Indeed, Pogba is poised to head to Juventus as a free agent for the second time in his career (as per Fabrizio Romano). The Frenchman decided to see out his United contract and go back to Italy, where he’s had the most success of his domestic career so far.
The 29-year-old has a clear understanding of how to thrive in Serie A and also how to operate under current Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri. Pogba will become one of the focal points of the Juventus team once he joins and there will be expectations on him to deliver.
Things could go either way for him knowing his current predicament. So let’s look at a few reasons why Paul Pogba will succeed in his return for Juve and a few reasons why he’ll fail to impress.
Reasons he’ll succeed
Paul Pogba returns somewhere he’s universally loved
In his infamous Amazon documentary “The Pogmentary,” Pogba spoke about wanting to join a club where he feels loved. The Frenchman had a topsy-turvy period with the Old Trafford faithful, with United fans often turning on him and dishing out brutal criticism.
Now with the lack of a £90m transfer target on his back, Pogba can play more freely at a place where he’s still beloved. Not just Allegri, but the Juventus fans still adore the midfielder for how he contributed to their success all those years ago.
Pogba is a player whose form depends on his confidence. If he gets showered with love, his confidence levels should constantly stay upwards. He can use that to graft in consistently impressive performances and play with a spring in his step.
The French midfielder will be more focused than ever to help Juve win games and create special moments because of the fan support for him. Doing so will help him be a success story in Turin again and help Juve get back to the top of the Italian football scene.
Knows Allegri’s system inside out
The most ideal thing for Pogba is he’s returning to a place where he not only knows the environment, but the coach as well. It was under Allegri that the Frenchman started to soar at Juventus.
Since the Italian manager took over in 2014, he helped get the best out of Pogba in a midfield that featured Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal. The Frenchman won two Serie A titles as well as two Coppa Italia trophies under Allegri, while also being in the Juve team that reached the Champions League final in 2015.
Now with more experience and maturity, Pogba will be instilled as a leader of the pack in midfield. With a demanding manager like Allegri who knows his strengths and weaknesses, the 29-year-old can potentially unlock his best traits.
Pogba will probably get a free role in midfield, which will allow him to dictate the tempo of the game for Juve as well as be the major creative force for them.
The Frenchman’s familiarity with Allegri’s system and the quality of players around him can help him seamlessly re-adapt to Juventus and enjoy a prolific second stint with them.
Reasons he’ll fail
A major problem for Pogba is that he has become quite susceptible to picking up injuries. In the last three seasons for United, the Frenchman missed a total of 72 games (via Transfermarkt) because of some nasty injuries.
Pogba has become prone to suffering a knock or wearing himself out after a string of games. The wear and tear of giving his all during some games, picking up an injury, recovering from that injury and then trying to rush back into action is taking a toll on him.
While Serie A might not be as exhausting or intense as the Premier League, playing in an important role for Juve will require Pogba give his best. If he continues to suffer injuries time and again while doing so, the Frenchman will end up frustrating more fans than he entertains.
Too temperamental with his output
There is no denying Paul Pogba’s ability or skillset to act as the entire package in midfield for his team. He helped France win the FIFA World Cup in 2018, produced some memorable moments at Old Trafford and did a lot of exciting things at a young age at Juventus.
But one thing that has conspired to hold him back is his mood. When high on confidence and in a fine patch of form, there are few who can stop Pogba from making an impact in the game. The same goes for when he plays like he has something to prove.
But when the chips are down and things start to get a little rough, the Frenchman fails to come out on top or inspire his side to regain their form. Pogba has shown little signs of leadership in the face of adversity and that can be an issue for Allegri’s side.
Unless he can curb his temperamental nature and not let his form suffer depending on his mood, he probably won’t be able to hit the elite peak he’d want to.
Paul Pogba needs to change his mentality slightly to thrive at Juventus because unless he can act as an inspirational figure for the Serie A side, his move will be deemed a failure.