Football

Was letting Paul Pogba leave Ferguson's biggest mistake?

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Sir Alex Ferguson is a man who has ascended to legendary status over the years and rightfully so, the man has won pretty much every trophy available and is arguably the greatest manager in sport, let alone football.

Yet, even for a manager as brilliant as he was, he certainly has a lengthy list of mistakes from over the years. And one in particular that Manchester United are lamenting, even to this day; is the departure of Paul Pogba.

Having come through the United ranks (by way of Le Havre) Pogba established himself as one of the future stars at the club. He asserted his dominance upon the game in the development leagues and felt he was ready to go at it with the big boys of the Premier League, only for Sir Alex to leave him out of first team action time and time again.

Nonetheless the youngster put his head down and continued to improve with every training session, though he still couldn't get a crack at the whip.Then came a December 31 fixture at Old Trafford against bottom of the table Blackburn Rovers in 2011.

Paul Scholes had retired, Darren Fletcher was injured and Michael Carrick was forced to slot in at centre back, but still Fergie chose not to play him and went with Rafael instead, much to Pogba's dismay.

"There was no one left to play in midfield," said the youngster. "I was training and I was beginning to get better bit by bit and the coach never stopped telling me, 'You're this far'. And there was Rafael in midfield. I was disgusted.

"I'd lost that thing, that relation that I had with the coach. I was really disappointed, really disappointed. My eyes were opened. I'd made this decision to sign with Juventus."

And the Frenchman has taken Serie A, and the rest of the world, by storm since sealing a move away from Old Trafford.

The 20-year-old has developed into one of the best young prospects around and the sky appears to be the limit for him as he continues to develop while, playing alongside the likes of Arturo Vidal and Italy internationals Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio in the Juventus midfield.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils have been searching long and hard for a high quality player to fill the void left in the middle of the park following the retirement of Scholes. Yet for all their hard work, they still haven't been able to lure a top class player to assume the position. Tom Cleverly, Fiorentina loanee Anderson, and even Phil Jones all tried, but failed to impress.

New boss, David Moyes scrambled throughout both the summer and January transfer windows in order to fill the central midfield position with quality additions but the Scot failed at every turn. His pursuits of Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara and Athletic Bilbabo's Ander Herrera, all failing to bear fruit.

He did however manage to pry Belgian international Marouane Fellaini (albeit for a lofty fee of £27million) from his former club, Everton, but even he hasn't performed despite the hefty price to obtain his services.

According to the Mirror, Moyes is planning to try and bring Pogba back to Old Trafford, after being spotted in Turin on several occasions. Though word has it the young starlet is set to sign a new contract that will keep him with the Serie A champions until 2018 - leaving Manchester United fans to rue what could have been.

And to rub it in, Pogba keeps doing stuff like this.

Although Moyes did manage to add a player of star quality by signing Juan Mata in January, Manchester United still need to add a midfielder who can sit deeper to break up play and/or distribute the ball (preferably both), in the summer.

However the chances of adding a top class player for such a role do appear to be slim because the Champions can't guarantee top flight European football next term, since they are languishing in seventh place in the Barclays Premier League.

The best chance of qualifying for next year's competition and winning silverware this year seems to be by winning the Champions League, as they are 11 points off fourth place with 12 games remaining, but that seems highly unlikely - even for the most optimistic Manchester United fans.

Of course it's easy to say all this in retrospect, but just think how different things could have been had Fergie played Pogba on that chilly day in 2011?

Maybe Manchester United could have won that game and United fans wouldn't have gone through the heartbreak of Sergio Aguero's last minute winner. Maybe Manchester United wouldn't have been in this predicament they're in today.

I guess we'll never know.


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Topics:
Premier League
Manchester United
Football
Serie A

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DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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