Manchester United fans have every reason to be excited about Paul Pogba.
Just a few months ago it looked like just a matter of time before the Frenchman left the club for Real Madrid or Juventus. He was reported to be deeply unhappy at Old Trafford and to be cutting a lonely figure away from the rest of the squad – often reportedly being out of the country altogether.
His agent Mino Raiola started a war of words with United, suggesting that Paul was being held hostage and that the club didn’t deserve to have a player of his ability on their books.
It was even rumoured that Pogba was faking injury this season as a kind of strike, or out of disinterest in playing for United.
Nobody really believed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when he continued to insist that he had a good relationship with the Frenchman, that he was desperate to play and that he was an important and positive influence in the dressing room.
However, comments by legendary Red Devil Peter Schmeichel and midfield maestro Bruno Fernandes suggest that the manager was telling the truth all along.
In an interview with The Express last week, the Great Dane seemed in no doubt that the 27-year-old sees his future at Manchester United.
‘I’m absolutely convinced he wants to stay,’ Schmeichel said.
‘I think we’ll see somebody, more of the player we saw a year ago.’
And when asked how he knew Pogba wanted to stay, he responded: ‘I just know, you speak to the right people.
‘One thing is how he’s portrayed in the media for how what he does and what he says himself, and another thing is what his agent is doing. And a completely different thing is what it’s really like.
‘And I don’t think he wants to leave. I don’t think so.
‘Unfortunately I don’t think he’s gotten great representation.’
Fernandes’ comments about Pogba meanwhile were not directly about his future, but more about the character of the man. They do however speak to his central presence in the dressing room and his sense of team spirit.
‘Paul is the guy who came when I arrived with a big book and said “where do you want to live, what price you want to pay, house or apartment”, and flicked through the pages. I chose three places and he said okay tomorrow we will check them,’ Bruno told Soccer Bible.
Not the actions of the sullen man going through the motions until he can leave England, as the media – and his agent – would have us believe.
One criticism often levelled at Pogba is that it would be easy for him to speak out and quench the rumours of his unrest. But perhaps he does not trust the media not to twist his words or perhaps it is always good for ‘Pogba the brand’ to be in the news.
And even more telling than Solskjaer, Schmeichel and Fernandes’ words have been his two performances since football’s return. The Frenchman has been magnificent both in the quality of football he has produced, but also in his workrate and he absolutely does not have the body language of an unhappy player who wants to leave the club.
Of course, there will be those who say that Pogba is simply knuckling down because a transfer seems off the cards due to football’s current financial crisis. But with all the issues with former manager José Mourinho and a string of bad injuries finally behind him, maybe now he is finally able to let his football do the talking and show his loyalty to Manchester United by being part of a successful team.
Rash is back! As United restart their season and do battle on three fronts, top scorer Marcus Rashford is fit and back to take his place in the side. But how much do you know about the United star? Take our quiz below to test yourself.