Thierry Henry is convinced Paul Pogba was ready to play for the Manchester United first-team in the final days of his Old Trafford career.
The French midfielder infamously fell out with the Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson after he preferred to start both Rafael and Park Ji-Sung in central midfield, leaving Pogba on the bench.
He would later agree a fee contract deal with Juventus and leave in the summer of 2012. The story from then on in a familiar one in the world of football with Pogba going on to become a key player at the Serie A club and one of the games most valuable talents.
Still only 22 years old, Pogba has since been linked with a return to Manchester United, albeit for an incredible £70m transfer fee. The likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City have joined them in what could turn out to be the most expensive bidding war in sporting history.
It is now clear Ferguson's decision to keep Pogba on the fringes of the first-team was a rare moment of misjudgement in an otherwise spectacular record of developing talent. Now Henry has had his say on the matter, and his opinion fails to fall far from that of the consensus.
“It didn’t work for him at United for various reasons but he showed character, he went to Juve and showed he could play"
Ready to play
Henry told Goal: “He was ready to play at the time he left Manchester United. I don’t know what happened there, he was ready for me at that time.
“I saw him play in a World Cup with the France youth team and you could see already that he had something different from the other players.
“It didn’t work for him at United for various reasons but he showed character, he went to Juve and showed he could play. Now everybody wants him.”
It seems inevitable that Pogba will eventually leave Juventus for one of Europe's financial powerhouses but a return to Old Trafford looks far from certain.
“He is a special player and that’s why every team wants him"
Instead La Liga appears an obvious choice with the ongoing transfer arms race between Real Madrid and Barcelona likely to push the fee above the £85.3m the former paid for Gareth Bale in 2013.
“He is a special player and that’s why every team wants him,” Henry continued. “Is he going to stay at Juve? I don’t know. But whoever gets him is going to get an amazing player.
“I was a bit upset for him because he couldn’t perform the way he wanted to perform at the end of the season because he came back from an injury at the wrong time.
“For people to talk about him the way they talk about him right now, it’s because he has something that young players his age don’t have right now.”
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