Ever since raising the World Cup trophy this summer, fans have been clammering for Paul Pogba to translate his France form to his domestic club.
Last night saw by far Pogba’s most inspired performance so far this season. The Frenchman found the back of the net twice and assisted Anthony Martial‘s effort to round off a comfortable 3-0 win for the visitors.
Jose Mourinho made Pogba captain for the game due to Antonio Valencia’s absence. However, Pogba is no stranger to holding such responsibility, donning the armband for United’s opening fixtures earlier in the season.
Just how important were Pogba’s efforts in Manchester United’s Champions League opener? Let’s take a look.
Pogba’s Season So Far
Rumoured rifts between Pogba and Mourinho have led to an inconsistent season so far for the player.
His cryptic messages on social media failing to commit his long-term future to the club have meant naysayers such as Graeme Sounness have had a field day. Nevertheless, when he has shown some form of commitment to his domestic club, the results have been inspiring.
Even amidst all the uncertainy, Pogba has still proven himself to be an undroppable player.
He’s started all of Manchester United’s across all competitions so far. In the Premier League, Pogba has scored two goals in five games, averaging a pass success rate of 82.5%.
The Frenchman’s inconsistent displays since returning to Old Trafford have been frustrating to watch. However, if displays such as the one we witnessed last night become at least semi regular, then fans are in for a treat.
Paul Pogba vs Young Boys: The Statistics
With contributions to all three of Manchester United’s goals in Switzerland, there was no surprise when Paul Pogba was awarded man of the match.
In terms of his efforts in front of goal, Pogba attained a 100% shot accuracy with both of his attempts on goal finding the back of the net. The first, a wonderful weaving strike from his weak foot; the second, a clinical effort from the penalty spot.
Pogba also successfully completed 50 of the 54 passes he attempted, earning a whopping pass success percentage of 92.6%.
During those 50 passes, Pogba created three chances for his teammates, all of which came from open play.
Most importantly, however, Pogba utilised his incisive passing ability to spur his attacking compadres forward. United’s showings so far this season have seen a dramatic improvement from last year in terms of a convincing attacking output.
Pogba made 25 forward passes against Young Boys, compared to just 13 backwards passes and 12 sideways.
This year’s World Cup also saw Pogba deployed in a system which allowed his defensive abilities to flourish. Against Young Boys, it was more of the same.
Pogba successfully made two tackles during the game and tallied an impressive 11 ball recoveries. He even managed an interception to top it off.
If last night is anything to go by, a happy Paul Pogba is crucial to United’s success this season.
His performances up until last night hadn’t warranted the hassle he has caused in terms of fuelling rumours of a move away to Barcelona. However, it’s now clear that United would sorely miss a player of his calibre should he look for pastures new.
Pogba showed exactly why United forked out a then world record fee for his services. Should he continue this form, then £89 million will be a bargain – especially in today’s market.