The issue surrounding the future of Paul Pogba at Manchester United seems to been festering as former England women manager, Phil Nevile has now added his voice to the conversation.
Pogba came off the bench in the second half as Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League. According to the former Manchester United midfielder, the Frenchman needs to leave Old Trafford and a transfer away from the club would suit everyone involved.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live during the Champions League affair that United lost 3-2 in a reaction to the latest comment made by the Frenchman’s agent Mino Raiola, Neville said it is inevitable to see the midfielder leave United.
Raiola had on Monday said the midfielder is “unhappy” and “needs to change teams” after he returned to Old Trafford for £89m in 2016.
Pogba, who has endured a turbulent second spell at the club has made only eight Premier League appearances this season, starting five, and scored his first league goal of the campaign on Saturday.
“The agent’s comments, to me, were pre-planned, pre-rehearsed – knowing when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was doing his press conference, knowing exactly the right words to use.
“When I read those comments I wasn’t surprised, it wasn’t a bombshell. Paul is not happy, he doesn’t look happy, he’s not playing to his full potential and hasn’t been for a long time.
“Ultimately, the inevitable is going to happen that Pogba has to leave United. The sooner you get rid of players like Pogba, players who don’t want to be there – in a dressing room that’s thinking about the long term with energy and that vision of maybe going to win something – you have to sieve out the weeds.
“At the moment Pogba needs to get out of that dressing room and that would suit everyone at United and Pogba as well.”
Manchester United need to look for a way to resolve Pogba’s issue soon
Also commenting on the subject with BT Sport, former United defender, Rio Ferdinand, who spent 12 years with the club witnessed how the team was able to manage Wayne Rooney when he was thinking of a move away from Old Trafford in 2013.
He, therefore, called on Solskjaer and the club to look to how Sir Alex Ferguson handled that situation as a guide for what to do with World Cup winner Pogba.
“The timing is disgusting from an important player’s agent but I’m going to shift the focus to Manchester United, to Solskjaer, and to [executive vice-chairman] Ed Woodward.
“How are you allowing an agent to come in and talk like this? This isn’t the first time Mino has spoken about it. They should have nipped it in the bud the first time it happened.
“I was at United when Rooney was talking about leaving. Ferguson went in the media and said he’s being advised badly by his agent and I’m going to nip it in the bud. A few days later he signed a new contract.
“If I was a player I’d say ‘shut up, don’t speak on my behalf and make me look bad’. Pogba should own that situation, don’t be dictated to. Every other player who comes in, their agent is going to be in the paper talking if they’re disgruntled.
“Donny Van de Beek comes in, doesn’t play and after the first month his agent’s speaking in the media. How is that happening?
“This affects the mood at the club and the more Manchester United allow this to happen, the more they are under a cloud,” said Ferdinand.
He cited Georginio Wijnaldum’s contract issue as an instance. The Dutchman has insisted that he won’t be talking about his future, except Liverpool does.
“Georginio Wijnaldum is an important player at Liverpool who wasn’t playing earlier in the season. He’s got a new contract being negotiated maybe. You don’t see his agent come out and talk because you know he’d get slapped down by [Jurgen] Klopp.”
Solskjaer had during pre-match coference dismissed Raiola’s comments, adding that it was not a distraction in the build-up to the game, saying his decision to omit Pogba from the starting line-up was “tactical”.
“You’ve got to ask Paul if he’s happy or not happy, I can’t speak for him. He’s working hard in training and he needs to focus on his performances.
“Now is not the time to discuss transfer ins and outs at the club,” he stated after the match.
What Pogba must do before leaving Manchester United
Pogba almost scored against Leipzig last night, which could be an indication that he is focusing more on his game. But more is still needed from the Frenchman.
It would be better to call his agent and tell him not to discuss anything about his future again or end his relationship with him. At the end of the day, his agent gains more from this once he secures another transfer.
Even as a player and you are not happy, Pogba needs to address the matter himself by respecting the tactical decision made by the manager.
Pogba’s ability is no doubt, but you falling out with Jose Mourinho and now Solskjaer could mean there is more to it.
As a professional player, the formation being adopted by the manager may not be suiting your style, and it’s not allowing you to play to your full potentials. If that is the case, all he need to do is to approach the manager and tell him how you feel you can add more value to the team.
As seen in the France national team, Pogba is usually excited to be among Les Blues, he needs to be happy at his club as well. It is therefore left for the party concerned to address this issue and Pogba can be happy playing again.