The last time United faced Juventus was in 2003, where United ran out 3-0 winners with a young Ryan Giggs bagging a brace. This shows just how long it has been since United were a staple fixture in European football. Tomorrow’s game will be one of only a few times United have welcomed giant opposition to Old Trafford post-Fergie, and so, would be the perfect opportunity for Paul Pogba to offer up a performance like his academy graduate peer Giggs did.
The midfielder has had a tumultuous start to the season, with his good form blighted by his public clashes with Jose Mourinho. However, the Frenchman has shown a commendable maturity of late, with a commanding performance from deep in the comeback win versus Newcastle.
It has often been said of Pogba that he is a luxury player, a player you select when you have the luxury of world class players around him. This is the reason many critics give for his mixed performances during his second spell at United. This game, against the team where he established himself as a top level talent, is the perfect opportunity for Pogba to silence these critics. It is not enough to deliver these performances against the likes of Newcastle however, for Pogba to reach the heights he is capable of, he must find consistency.
Pogba enjoyed an extremely successful time at Juventus, picking up several domestic trophies as well as playing in the Champions League final against Barcelona. His form at the Italian champions earned him a place in the FIFPRO World XI as well as a starting spot for France. United fought off interest from titans of the European game such as Real Madrid and Barcelona to lock the French midfielder down. With this signing, United fans thought their midfield was sorted for years, however, since his signing, United have signed two new central midfielders in order to bring the best out of him.
Pogba’s inability to relocate the form he displayed in Turin has proved a massive problem for United and has sparked rumours, that have been fuelled by the player himself, surrounding a move away from the Manchester club. Tomorrow night’s Champions League encounter with his former club sets the stage perfectly for Pogba to reinvent himself at United.
This game represents what could be a career-defining moment for United’s number six, under the lights at Old Trafford against one of the best teams in the world is the prime opportunity for the Frenchman to show the world the talent we all know he possesses, but does not show nearly enough.