Day by day, Paul Pogba moving away from Old Trafford is seeming imminent and unstoppable. With Paul Pogba himself stating about his intentions to leave Manchester United has raised the eyebrows. If the player of stature like Paul Pogba moves away from Red Devils, they have to find the proper replacements to reinforce their midfield.
On a commercial tour of Adidas in Japan, Paul Pogba stated:
“After this season and everything that happened this season, with my season being my best season as well…I think for me it could be a good time to have a new challenge.”
With a big question mark over the potential of the Red Devils to compete for major honors in the English top-flight and European leagues, Paul Pogba is pushing for a move away from Old Trafford. Also, the player has shown his interest to feature alongside his idol, Zinedine Zidane. However, few reports suggest that Pogba wants to move back to Turin where he developed as a World-class midfielder.
It is not that the French midfielder did not perform for the club. It is Pogba’s inconsistency that has asked the questions about his World Class tag. Paul Pogba scored 13 goals in the Premier League and also found his name in the PFA Player of the Year list 2018/19. He is the only non-Manchester City and non-Liverpool player to get the accolade.
If Paul Pogba is pushing for a move away from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, Ed Woodward and the board should sign the potentially equivalent midfielders available in the market. Here are few replacements for Paul Pogba, if he leaves England this summer.
5) Tanguy Ndombele
Every big European club in the transfer market is linked to Lyon’s midfielder, Tanguy Ndombele. However, only Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs are seriously vying for the signature of the player. With Daniel Levy hesitating to splash the money on Ndombele, the transfer could be Ed Woodward and Red Devils’ gain.
The 22-year-old midfielder is a like-a-like replacement for Paul Pogba. He likes to play in the left side of the midfield, but not too wide. He is a strong dribbler of the ball and ensures he remains calm in most of the serious situations.
In Ligue 1, the French midfielder has a pass percentage of 89.2% which is higher than Pogba’s 85.2% in the Premier League. Also, the player has a solitary goal and seven assists in Ligue 1. If Manchester United loses out Paul, Tanguy Ndombele will be a good signing for Old Trafford based outfit.
4) Adrien Rabiot
There is only one similarity between Adrien Rabiot and Paul Pogba. They both are French internationals. Apart from that, there is no similarity which can compel Manchester United to sign the PSG player.
However, Adrien Rabiot is more of a calm and composed player compared to Paul Pogba. Rabiot is not a player who makes the run into the opposition boxes or score the goals. But, he is a player who can withhold and can act as a lynchpin between attack and defense. Because of this ability, he is more used as holding midfielder or deep-lying playmaker.
With a move seeming inevitable after falling back with PSG, Manchester United should snap up the French-international for free. Manchester United should sign Adrien Rabiot, irrespective of what they decide on Pogba, sell or don’t sell him as they don’t have a quality midfielder after the departure of Ander Herrera.
3) Sergej Milenkovic Savic
In the summer of 2018/19, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was an in-demand player, targeted by many European giants. Savic was linked and rumored with a move to Manchester United and Chelsea. However, Savic’s form dipped and none of the deals materialized for the player. Moreover, the Serbia International signed a long-term agreement with Lazio, which hampered his move to the biggest of European clubs.
The 24-year-old midfielder is a strong dribbler of the ball who can give a pass, take a pass from a distance and even produce a goal for the club. With these abilities, the Serbian has scored five goals for Lazio in Serie A. Also, he is directly involved in 3 other goals for Simeone Inzaghi’s side.
If Manchester United sell Paul Pogba then, they can quickly meet the demanding price of Lazio for the midfielder who can easily play in any side of the midfield.
2) Nabil Fekir
Ever since the departure of the legendary manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United have lacked the creativity in the final third. If Paul Pogba was signed to resolve this, Manchester United should try to vie the signature of Nabil Fekir if the Frenchman leaves this summer.
The 25-year-old Lyon playmaker operates as an attacking midfielder for the French outfit along with former United player, Memphis Depay and current Real Madrid player, Mariano Diaz. In 24 appearances in 2018/19, Fekir raked up nine goals and assisted seven times. Also, he possesses the pass percentage of 88.1 in the UEFA Champions League.
Fekir is an excellent player in the middle of the park. The player has exceptional ball-playing abilities apart from controlling the ball. He is an excellent reader of the game and delivers from set-pieces as well. Also, he can operate from the right wing, which is a headache for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Fekir was linked with Manchester United in the last summer transfer window. Even though the Red Devils couldn’t sign him in 2018/19, they must sign him up in 2019/20 if Pogba leaves Old Trafford.
1) Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans lost his confidence at AS Monaco. To regain his conviction, he was loaned to English Premier League side, Leicester City. During his spell at Midlands, the Belgian scored three goals and notched up five assists in 13 games. With his professionalism on the field, Tielemans has caught the attention of PL biggies.
The Belgian is a box-to-box midfielder and possesses the fine ability to withhold the attack in midfield. The player can also take a shot from the distance which is currently missing at the Theatre of Dreams. Also, he likes to play long balls. In the Premier League, Tielemans has 3.4 long balls per game. Moreover, he has a passing accuracy of 85% and 1.2 key passes per game.
Amid interests from Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur, few reports suggest that Manchester United have entered the race to sign the Belgian midfielder. He can be the “perfect one” if Pogba leaves Old Trafford.
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