Paul Pogba’s rise to prominence as the the driving force of the France midfield has naturally led to comparisons with Patrick Vieira, the illustrious World Cup winner and former Arsenal captain.
The 21-year-old, formerly of Manchester United, has established himself among the elite players in Europe thanks to his performances with Juventus over the past two seasons, and is the poster boy for a new generation of French footballers trying to make an impact on the global stage.
With his rangy, languid style and unrelenting desire in the middle of the park, Pogba has regularly been depicted as a new version of Vieira. The ex-Gunner, leader of Arsenal’s Invincibles, was renowned for his drive and determination, along with his refined play, and comparisons with Pogba are understandable.
Yohan Cabaye, an international teammate of Pogba, is the latest to have placed the pair in the same bracket, but Vieira does not believe they are as alike as some would make out. In fact, Vieira rates Pogba as better at getting forward, and has no doubt the Old Trafford academy graduate will reach the very pinnacle of the sport.
Pogba superior going forward
“People say he’s like me — I guess we have similar power in possession and he’s strong, quite tall, an elegant player,” Vieira said, who captained Arsenal to two Premier League titles.
“But in his head he’s more attacking than I ever was. I would win more balls but he’s more technical. He’ll become one of the best in the world.”
The stats so far in Pogba’s short professional career would certainly lend backing to Vieira’s assertion, with the goalscoring ability of the former clearly superior.
Pogba has spent only two seasons in first-team football, winning the Serie A title in both of these, and scored nine times in the most recent club campaign - a total two goals superior to the highest tally achieved by Vieira over the course of his career.
The youngster will surely improve in this category over time, and could well be among the top goalscoring midfielders in the game in a year or two. Perhaps that is why Chelsea are seemingly so desperate to recruit him following the departure of Frank Lampard from Stamford Bridge.
Watch: The latest Chelsea transfer news
A Premier League transfer?
Pogba clearly has the credentials to be ascend to the summit of the game and, at present, Juventus are allowing him to flourish. But it may be that a move to the Premier League will allow him room for even more rapid growth - and that would be an exciting prospect indeed.