Does it make sense to tie Pogba down to a new long term contract?

Bastian

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I posted this in the performance thread, but it's a worthy discussion in its own right.

Is it to the benefit of the team as a whole to extend his contract? He's a tactically demanding player and the wages he's on and his profile mean he's a pretty guaranteed starter. We've got a better and more natural alternative on the left in Rashford, if we're playing in a 4231 shape, and we've already seen that there is no silver bullet midfielder (at least not currently at the club) who can make up for what he lacks in a midfield 2. There was a rumour this summer that Ole would go to 433 which made people think Bruno and Pogba would both play as #8s, but again, we don't have that superhuman midfielder to hold that together and we've yet to see how that would affect Bruno's output.

Given this will be his last major contract, it's likely he'll push for at least 4 years. I can't help think that we are doing a similar mistake to the Rooney deal, for different reasons (Rooney was declining fast), with limiting our tactical options and how we can develop this team.

Caveat: He's a class player. Just a difficult fit.
 

KiD MoYeS

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From a commercial perspective it absolutely makes sense to tie him down so I'm sure the club are desperate to do so. From a football perspective I am still unsure about Pogba and that is probably a bad thing at this stage.
 

Ollie Derbyshire

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I don't think we should, he's too difficult to fit into the team with Bruno playing and on those wages too difficult to leave out. Unfortunately he just unbalances the team and has too many 'off' days.

No more square pegs in round holes trying to squeeze talented players into the first 11.
 

Beachryan

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Unless we start alternating him and Bruno - which would be bonkers given they're two of our best players and on lots of cash - we don't have a functional system.

So no, we shouldn't tie him down. No one is going to pay >50m for him because everyone is skint (Newcastle...hrm). So rather than breaking our wage structure, just let him go.

Bonus: We can never deal with that f*cking maggot Raoila again. And that includes Haaland.
 

The White Pele

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To be honest, no. We can’t work out the right balance in midfield and unless we have a clear plan of how he will be used then he’s too big a player to keep around for rotation.

We’ve messed up by allowing it to get to this stage really as now we will offer a big renewal to save the embarrassment of him leaving on a free again.
 

Bastian

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In a way I was starting to hope he'd already indicate that he'd sign a deal with Real/PSG come January and then Ole would be under no pressure to play him, allowing him to be used as a luxury sub for the season whilst we develop a sustainable style of play.
 

Ddannidom

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Sure why not? Pogba is a world class player and among our better players.
 

MUFC OK

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Yes it does. Because signing a comparable replacement (not just in footballing terms but for marketability which is at least as important), would cost nearly the same in wages, plus a large transfer fee and agents fee if applicable.
 

Devil_forever

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From a commercial perspective it absolutely makes sense to tie him down so I'm sure the club are desperate to do so. From a football perspective I am still unsure about Pogba and that is probably a bad thing at this stage.
The club has spent a shit ton on players who are nobodies in marketing terms, so I highly doubt that's going to be a major factor in him getting a new contract.
 

Brophs

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Is this new contract going to make him viable option for Ole in midfield? If not, I suspect the answer is no, from a purely footballing perspective anyway.
 

KiD MoYeS

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The club has spent a shit ton on players who are nobodies in marketing terms, so I highly doubt that's going to be a major factor in him getting a new contract.
You're naive if you think the commercial aspect of a player is not considered by the decision makers at Man Utd, decision makers that have made it very obvious that their interests lie with the dollar and not much else.
 

Hammondo

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From a footballing perspective no, he's just not that useful.
 

Dante

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We should have sold him in the summer. If a bid comes in from somewhere in January, we should bite their hands off.

I definitely don't think we should be offering him massive wages for an extension that would make him even more difficult to shift in the future. That would be bad business for a player who's our second choice LW and third choice CM.
 

Brexit_Brigade

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If he's going to stay, Pogba needs to be a big boy and accept the responsibility that comes with playing in central midfield.

None of this faffing around on the left wing so he doesn't need to switch on until he has the ball - he's not a winger, and we have better ones. He's never been a number ten at any point in his career, and we have one of the best ones around.

The last couple of times he was rumored to be leaving (2019, 2020) I was in favor of the club doing whatever it took to keep him, simply because he was one of our best players on the pitch. Think there's a genuine argument now that the team has moved beyond him, unless he adapts his game to the team's needs.
 

sullydnl

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It can only make limited sense to tie him down to a long term contract when we can't tie him down to a long-term position in our actual team. Whether at LW or CM he looks a square peg in a round hole currently and even players as talented as Pogba will struggle to justify a mega-contract with their performances in that scenario. Unless we have an actual plan for a functioning system where he has a clear position and role that suits him....
 

Joseunited

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It amazes me that we have a World Cup winning midfielder in our team yet we think he should leave the club . What's even more farcical is midfield is our weak point.How the feck does that work :houllier: .
 

MUFC OK

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From a footballing perspective no, he's just not that useful.
Creativity isn't useful? How come Ole's best spell as manager coincided with deploying Pogba and Bruno in midfield together with a true defensive midfielder (matic)?

We need two creators in the middle imo, much easier to mark Bruno out of the game and let McFred have the ball as to be honest I've had more overseas holidays in the past 18 months then they've had assists.
 

Red_toad

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It amazes me that we have a World Cup winning midfielder in our team yet we think he should leave the club . What's even more farcical is midfield is our weak point.How the feck does that work :houllier: .
He plays in said midfield, so he’s part of the problem!
 

Shark

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No. If he hasn't delivered at this point he never will. It's like expecting Martial to suddenly start delivering except Pogba has a much higher ceiling when he is switched on which means when he's good we're almost tricked into thinking he's a world class player.
 

MUFC OK

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None of this faffing around on the left wing so he doesn't need to switch on until he has the ball - he's not a winger, and we have better ones. He's never been a number ten at any point in his career, and we have one of the best ones around.
Pretty sure that's on Ole. In fact, it's textbook Solskjaer.

- Pogba has a worldie against spurs on the left - barely featured centrally since.
- We get hammered at home by Spurs 6-1 - the previously hugely successful combo of Pogba, Matic, Bruno is dead.
- Following the same game McFred is born and reigns supreme forevermore.

Kind of ironic that Mourinho finished the attacking football under Ole. Since then it's been a back 6 with 4 attackers and utterly dire football.
 

ivaldo

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It's bonkers people don't want him here. He's clearly one of our best players, and I don't believe for a second it's somehow impossible for him and Bruno to play in the same side.
 

Borys

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Too much effort to make it work with the squad of players that are likely to be here for the next 2+ years, and still seems like he's a proper player in a dominant team so I doubt that can be replicated in EPL.
Let him go.
 

Bastian

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Creativity isn't useful? How come Ole's best spell as manager coincided with deploying Pogba and Bruno in midfield together with a true defensive midfielder (matic)?

We need two creators in the middle imo, much easier to mark Bruno out of the game and let McFred have the ball as to be honest I've had more overseas holidays in the past 18 months then they've had assists.
When was this spell you speak of? I would say his best spell, by far, was during his caretaker role when we had a very functional midfield in Matic, Ander and Pogba, in that 433 formation.
 

Bastian

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Great contribution.

It's bonkers people don't want him here. He's clearly one of our best players, and I don't believe for a second it's somehow impossible for him and Bruno to play in the same side.
That was the hope. You see the OP caveated with "buying that amazing midfielder" who can free the pair of them up. This doesn't have to be so much a Pogba issue as it is an Ole issue, but whichever way you look at it, we've been an unbalanced side for the most part under Ole and we simply can't just flood the team with our best players hoping it will work itself out.
 

largelyworried

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I don't think Ole knows how to get the best out of him. It's pretty clear at this point that there's no comfortable way to play him alongside Bruno in a 4-2-3-1. He's okay on the left, he's okay in the double pivot, but "okay" doesn't justify the salary he would need to stay. Never mind that Rashford will probably take back his left-sided place and we'll be getting at least one CM in the summer, if not two. What does Pogba do then?

He's talented for sure, but we're hardly short of talented attackers. Swapping him out for players that would let the entire team thrive is entirely sensible.
 

Shark

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Have they really ever taken to him like they did with Bruno? Is there a Pogba chant? Not that it means much but the love certainly isn't there as it is with others. The consensus is always that he has the talent but has never consistently delivered on what we potentially thought we were getting from Juventus back in 2016. Think that's fair to say, no? to add to that there's always a circus that seems to surround him. It's not as bonkers as some make out that some fans wouldn't be too indifferent to him going elsewhere.
 

Hugh Jass

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Dont think he is worth it. He was never a 90 million pound player for starters and isnt worth the wages he is on. Good on his day but too inconsistent.
 

Ali Dia

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We protect the value of worse assets all the time so from that standpoint yes absolutely. We may still be able to sell him 2 years down the line and eat some of the wages if it doesn’t work out. Does keeping Mino onside improve our chances with Haaland?

Is he worth it if we want to keep this formation or move to a press? Will it hamper our ability to recruit for that position in the future? These are the reasons it might be better to just let him go and get more money elsewhere. Any time we hand out a contract like this it’s the kiss of death. Hopefully this one goes better than Rooney Sanchez and DDG although Dave has been our best player so far this season…. Put it this way. If it was Bruno I’d be 100% in
 
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MUFC OK

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When was this spell you speak of? I would say his best spell, by far, was during his caretaker role when we had a very functional midfield in Matic, Ander and Pogba, in that 433 formation.
To be fair that was his best spell. The one I'm referring to started immediately after the lifting of lockdown and return of football and resulted in us securing CL football.

Pogba came off the bench and won a penalty in the 1-1 away to spurs - the results following this with that midfield 3:

Sheff U - W 3-0
BHA - W 3-0
Bournemouth - W 5-2
A Villa - W 3-0
Soton - D 2-2
WHU - D 1-1
Leicester - W 2-0
BHA - W 3-2

The fact Pogba was in the centre of the park for both runs of form should tell us something, but not if people refuse to see it.
 

Brexit_Brigade

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Pretty sure that's on Ole. In fact, it's textbook Solskjaer.

- Pogba has a worldie against spurs on the left - barely featured centrally since.
- We get hammered at home by Spurs 6-1 - the previously hugely successful combo of Pogba, Matic, Bruno is dead.
- Following the same game McFred is born and reigns supreme forevermore.


Kind of ironic that Mourinho finished the attacking football under Ole. Since then it's been a back 6 with 4 attackers and utterly dire football.
I thought so too for the longest time last season, but we did play the Pogba-Matic combo a few times over the season with largely poor results - I think they started both games against Sheff United where we lost at home and scraped by at Bramall Lane, will have to look up the other results but that pair didn't look nearly as good as it did in the post-restart run. Probably just Matic's legs catching up with him again.

But yeah, pretty sure we've all constantly questioned whether there's a better solution to the midfield than what we've seen for the last year now. We should be able to play Pogba in midfield against the vast majority of the league in the right structure, with more emphasis on keeping the ball and defending as a unit without it (instead of just sticking Fred-McTominay in there because they're the only ones with the legs to cover for the entire front four).

My line about Pogba accepting responsibility is mostly based on the stretch of games early in last season where he was just ambling around the park, giving away idiotic fouls, and offering zero presence without the ball. It's happened a few more times since when he's played in the center - two of the most striking examples are the second leg against Roma last season, and the Wolves game last month. We can and should be expecting more from a player with his obscene gifts.
 
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villain

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Great contribution.
It's not so much you, your post is nuanced. But as a whole our fans are ridiculous, and there's plenty of evidence on this forum alone that I don't need to expand further.

Pogba staying in our team is a net benefit, if he leaves we are left with Matic, McFred, Donny (unless he goes in January) and some academy kids - to me, that reads as us needing at least 2 new midfielders. Anyone who thinks Man United are going to sign two midfielders to plug that gap and instantly step into the first team and mount a title challenge, clearly hasn't been following us for the last 20 odd years.
I also think he's been underrated on here simply because he doesn't score or assist every game but that's another conversation.

Have they really ever taken to him like they did with Bruno? Is there a Pogba chant? Not that it means much but the love certainly isn't there as it is with others. The consensus is always that he has the talent but has never consistently delivered on what we potentially thought we were getting from Juventus back in 2016. Think that's fair to say, no? to add to that there's always a circus that seems to surround him. It's not as bonkers as some make out that some fans wouldn't be too indifferent to him going elsewhere.
I think football fans are precious personally - we all know that we haven't been good enough for the last 8 years but when a player starts looking elsewhere to compete for the highest honours, it's tantamount to treachery and he can never be forgiven. I don't really care about what his agent says in the media, I don't view it as a circus because he has a job to do for his client and the media report on it for hate-clicks, but my perspective on that is highly skewed, admittedly.
And likewise I don't have opinions just because the consensus also have that opinion.
 

sullydnl

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It amazes me that we have a World Cup winning midfielder in our team yet we think he should leave the club . What's even more farcical is midfield is our weak point.How the feck does that work :houllier: .
Well you've kinda highlighted the issue. Despite obviously being our most talented midfielder and despite the alternative being the very ordinary McFred pairing, that McFred pairing is nonetheless our first choice midfield currently.

If we can change our system into one that functions with him in central midfield, great. But that sentence could have been applied at pretty much any time since he's arrived. And if we can't then there's only so much point in paying said World Cup winning midfielder star-player money to be our third choice midfielder.

Either something changes about the way we set-up and function as a team or he's not worth the money. As it stands a less talented player who would be nailed on to start ahead of one of McTominay/Fred in CM every week would be far more valuable to us as a team than the more talented Pogba flitting between LW and CM.
 

Abraxas

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It's a very tricky conundrum. I know people like to give definitive, black and white verdicts but there is so much to consider.

Firstly, that he appears very difficult to fit into our side. Long term he isn't going to be slotting in on the left. We don't have Rabiot and Kante to cover him, even one major DM signing isn't guaranteed to solve the issue. In fact it's still odds against. How do we get him into our side? People say we've wasted him, or attach the blame to us but at some point does the responsibility become personal? At the very least the idea we can accommodate him in midfield without large scale changes to our setup and personnel is speculative.

Then you have the inconsistency against what he will cost in terms of a new contract. I don't think this is the worst balance because ultimately transfer fees are so extortionate that even his wages and an agent fee is probably relative value, at least right now.

Then you have the actual workings of the contract, what are the sums involved and how long for? Will he be motivated for the duration of that contract or will it be an expensive mistake that seems "value" at the time of renewal but becomes a massive financial anchor as the years pass by and the performances dwindle? We've seen that story before. You have to have an understanding of Pogba and his motivations, which is difficult to know from afar.

I'm glad I don't have to make the calls on it.