Paul Pogba’s acrimonious departure from Manchester United was a culmination of a lack of first team opportunities and a desire for a bigger pay packet. The Frenchman was highly coveted and considered one of our finest young talents but struggled to get an opportunity to impress.
Instead of giving Pogba the chance to show his worth in the first team at a time where United desperately needed a central midfielder, Sir Alex Ferguson asked Paul Scholes to come out of retirement – a move which was the watershed moment for Pogba who knew he would have even less opportunities to prove himself in the Premier League.
Given that Pogba has now cemented his place as one of Europe’s finest prospects after a fabulous year both domestically and internationally, you’d be forgiven for feeling that United made a big mistake in not trying harder to keep Pogba but watching how quickly Adnan Januzaj is working his way towards the first team, you realise that it is a mistake that won’t be repeated.
The 18-year-old only had one full season with the U21s where he was named the Reserve Player of the Year before he joined up with United on the pre-season tour. Now, less than a year after he was playing with the U18s, he has made his first team debut.
It was a phenomenal cameo from the bench. He possessed all the guile and style of an established Premier League winger and didn’t for one second look overawed by the occasion. He has all the hallmarks of a player that could go on to do brilliant things in the future, hopefully brilliant things for United.
The ethos of blooding home grown talent is one that is embedded in the mindset of the club and offering youngsters the opportunity has been the bedrock of our success over the last few decades. Not giving Pogba enough chances was a mistake but the meteoric rise of Januzaj at least shows that the club is not willing to make the same mistake twice.