Paul Pogba was officially announced as a Manchester United player on Tuesday after he completed a reported £89 million switch from Juventus.
French playmaker Paul Pogba was one of the hottest transfer prospects this summer. After four glorious seasons at Juventus, the 22-year-old caught the attention of many of Europe’s elite clubs. Teams like Real Madrid, PSG and Manchester United were among the front-runners to secure his signature, and all of them held the upper hand at some point in time. However, it was the club from England that won the race as they completed a staggering £89 million move for the player.
Pogba was a Manchester United player before he joined Juventus in 2012. In his first interview post his return from Italy, the Frenchman stated that he was happy to be back home and hopes to win numerous titles for the Red Devils.
Here are three takeaways from his interview with MUTV:
Destiny brought him back to his boyhood club
In July 2009, Paul Pogba joined the Manchester United academy at the tender age of 16. He made his debut for the under-18s in a 2-1 victory over Crewe Alexandria. He went on to have an impressive youth season bagging seven goals in 21 appearances.
Two years after joining the youth set-up, the Frenchman was given his first call-up to the senior team by manager Sir Alex Fergusson. His first professional game at United was in the League Cup against Leeds United. The 18-year-old came on as a second-half substitute and thoroughly impressed the Manchester United fans in attendance at Elland Road. Seeing his performances as a fledgling, many touted him to go on and achieve great things for the Red Devils.
However, things did not work out as per plan, as Ferguson reportedly had a fallout with the player’s agent Mino Raiola. The frosty relations between the two saw Pogba turn down an extension and move to Italy to take his game to the next level.
In his interview, Pogba has stated that he had returned home and had gone away for a few years. He aims to have a long and fruitful stint in his second-coming at Old Trafford and hopes to wins countless titles for the Red Devils.
“There’s no words, to be honest, there’s no words. I just came back to Carrington. It was like I’d just come back home. I just went for a holiday, looks like I went for a holiday. I’ve come back home, I’m happy and I see everyone, the same persons. It’s just a great feeling, to be honest,” said the Frenchman when asked about his emotions on coming back to England.
“I think it’s destiny, I would say it’s destiny. First my mum told me I would come back here and I told her, ‘You never know, you’ll see.’ For myself as well it’s a big challenge too, just to come back to where I came from, where I grew up, where I started. I didn’t finish what I started here so I think I came here to finish it.”
“I want to be one of the best, I want to win titles, I want to achieve things and that’s all; that’s why I came here, just to do this, to become one of the best and to win titles because I know this club has to win titles. This club is created to win titles, to win things, to win big things,” he added.
A desire to win the Ballon D’Or at Manchester United
Since its inception in 1956, a total of four Manchester United players have held the coveted Ballon D’Or – Denis Law (’64), Sir Bobby Charlton (’66), George Best (’68) and Cristiano Ronaldo (’08). Pogba, still only 23, has shown tremendous promise every since his academy days and could be in the running to be the fifth person on the list for the Red Devils. His efforts have already been recognized on the grandest stage as he won the Young Player of the Tournament award at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The Frenchman, while speaking to MUTV, expressed his desire of winning the prestigious Ballon D’Or at United.
“First of all, win the league for the first time with United, because I hadn’t won the league when I left. The Champions League, of course, and personally, one of my dreams is to win the Ballon d’Or. That will come with time hopefully but first the Premier League – I’ve never done it.”
Jose Mourinho played a key role in his decision to return to Old Trafford
Mourinho has brought about an instant change at Manchester United. He started off by splurging £30 million on a solid defender in Eric Bailly before he shelled out another £26 million for the 2015/16 Bundesliga Player of the Year Henrikh Mkhitaryan, after which he signed a world-beating striker in Zlatan Ibrahimovic. While one of them (Bailly) is an unproven commodity, the other two have done more than enough to compare themselves with the world’s best. After signing, both of them have stated that Mourinho has played a major role in bringing them to the club, something that may not have happened if Louis van Gaal were still in charge.
Pogba too, has decided to move away from a Champions League playing side to a club that will not be competing among Europe’s elite due to a disappointing 2015/16 campaign. The Frenchman explains that it was due to Mourinho and his ability to get the best out of players, he opted to pick United over Real Madrid.
He said: “First of all, I spoke with a lot of players [who played under Mourinho] when he was at Madrid – I spoke with [Alvaro] Morata, [Raphael] Varane – and they all told me he’s the coach for me; he will make me improve a lot and make me work harder. I feel this. I spoke with him a few times and he gave me energy, he gave me positivity. So I was thinking ‘why not?’ I’m sure he can make me improve and make me a better player and a better person.”
Pogba will be in line to make his second debut for the Red Devils when they open their Premier League campaign against Bournemouth on the of August at the Vitality Stadium.