The more Paul Pogba shines for Juventus, the more foolish Sir Alex Ferguson looks.
It seems hard to believe that the greatest manager in the history of the sport let one of the planet’s most promising starlets depart without a fight. Manchester United became a juggernaut during his tenure, but with the club now struggling to emerge from the horrors of last year letting the French youngster go looks like one of his greatest errors.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Forlan and Ruud Van Nistelrooy are the three stand-out names to have shone away from Old Trafford. But with Pogba still in the early years of his career, his achievements could go on to eclipse the trio and propel his name into footballing folklore. Juventus face a difficult task to keep him.
Up until a Premier League match against Blackburn Rovers in December 2011, Pogba had been expected to pen a new long-term contract to stay in English football. But if the shock defeat was not miserable enough, it was to be the game that turned the youngster towards Turin instead.
United arrived depleted, with injuries beginning to derail their campaign. Manchester City were beginning to flex their muscles in the title race having battered their rivals 6-1 just a couple of months earlier, and the need for three points was pivotal.
Yet alas, it was not to be. Ferguson opted for midfield duo of Rafael Da Silva and Park Ji-Sung, who struggled to contain a side languishing at the foot of the table. Dimitar Berbatov’s brace nearly rescued them a point, but the three points ultimately headed to the other side of Lancashire instead.
Pogba being overlooked was what he described himself as his darkest moment. Antonio Conte ultimately brought him to Juventus, where his performances are turning the heads of all of Europe’s elite.
Ever since his arrival in the summer of 2012, Pogba has gone on to establish himself as one of the best midfielders on the planet and help Juventus to dominate the domestic scene as a result.
He has won two Scudetto’s already, and the club’s 2-0 win over Chievo has moved them closer to an unprecedented fourth Serie A title in as many years.
Such masterful performances have also carried over to the international stage, where the 21-year-old was voted as the young player of the tournament at the World Cup in Brazil earlier this summer.
But now comes the hard part; keeping him. The Old Lady are the undisputed best side in Italy but with money tight, they may have to cash in on their star asset in order to bolster the squad this summer.
Regardless of their desire to keep him, they may be powerless to stop him leaving. Real Madrid and Chelsea are the frontrunners, and Ferguson’s mistake could be complete if he fires a future club to silverware galore.