Leaving Le Havre
Paul Pogba has gone from France to England to Italy and back again. Is Spain his next stop? Yousef Teclab runs through the midfielder’s career so far…
Paul Pogba joined Le Havre’s youth team at the age of 14 in 2007 and impressed during his two years at youth level, where he would captain the U16s. In July 2009, Pogba decided to join Manchester United, despite Le Havre’s protests. FIFA ruled in favour of Manchester United and the clubs came to terms in June 2010.
Arriving in October 2009, Pogba becomes a permanent fixture in the academy over the next two seasons, resulting in Sir Alex Ferguson promoting him to the United first team in February 2011. Pogba also played a starring role in helping Man Utd win the FA Youth Cup.
The 2011-12 season saw Pogba break into the first team squad. He made his first team debut in the League Cup in September against Leeds, his Premier League debut in January and debut in the Europa League in March.
Old Trafford exit
Despite breaking into the first team, Pogba decided not to sign a contract and leaves the Premier League club for Juventus in summer 2012. Ferguson was notably unimpressed with Pogba and agent Mino Raiola.
On the rise
Pogba puts in several good performances in his first season at Juventus and wins the Scudetto under Antonio Conte. He then caps off the 2012-13 season by making his senior debut for France in March and captains Les Bleus to winning the U20 World Cup, where Pogba’s awarded the best player of the tournament and wins 2013’s Golden Boy.
Pogba lifts the 2013-14 Scudetto under Conte again before Conte leaves Juventus to be replaced by Massimiliano Allegri. He then goes a step better during the 2014-15 season by winning the League and Cup double, and also reaches the Champions League Final, where Juventus would lose out to Barcelona. Individually, Pogba makes the 2015 FIFA FIFPro World XI.
Back to Manchester
Another League and Cup double followed in the 2015-16 season as Pogba developed into one of the world’s leading midfielders. But rumours of a return to Manchester United grew throughout the campaign and in August 2016, he duly moved back to Old Trafford, for what was then a world record fee of €105m.
Pogba won the Europa League in his first season back at United but the years that followed saw repeated questions over his contribution on the pitch as United endured a tumultuous time under Jose Mourinho. Pogba and Mourinho allegedly clashed repeatedly, while Pogba was criticised by ex-players, who wanted to see more from the midfielder.
It is a different story for France, as Pogba, in his first senior tournament for his country, impresses in the 2014 World Cup, while reaching the Euro 2016 Final where they lose to Portugal. It is in the 2018 World Cup where everything comes together under Didier Deschamps. Pogba, at the forefront of strong performances in midfield, helps France win the World Cup.
However, Pogba had a mixed 2018-19. He, and the rest of his United teammates, continued to struggle in a toxic environment before Mourinho was sacked and while the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lifted the mood, it didn’t last. By the end of the season, results and performances were poor and a reported spat with home fans in the final game of the year only intensified talk of a move to Real Madrid.