Paul Pogba’s mixed start to life at Manchester United continued during the 2-1 defeat to Watford in the Premier League.
The Frenchman, deployed on the left hand side of a midfield triumvirate, worked tirelessly and acted as the centrepiece of proceedings all afternoon, but ultimately failed to force the issue against a compact Watford side.
A look at his stats reveals an inability to convert his heavy involvement into clear-cut opportunities: 75% pass accuracy, 2 shots, 0 chances created, 0 take-ons, 0 interceptions.
As to be expected, the immense scrutiny aimed towards Pogba in his first few weeks at Old Trafford has been hysterical, bordering on hyperbolic.
The footballing world demands – expects, even – an immediate rip-roaring impact for somebody valued at £89m. And yet, what is often not recognised is that the £89m wasn’t tabled as a result of what Pogba has already done; rather, this world record sum is an investment, placing more emphasis on what he can offer in the next five years, as opposed to what he can do now.
And in a growingly sensationalist world, the expectations surrounding Pogba are downright unrealistic at this given time: yes, okay, Pogba didn’t sprint past the entire Watford team before launching an inch perfect rabona chip; and no, he didn’t complete every attempted pass. But does that really equate to abject failure?
It is clear that the 23-year-old is a special talent, and it feels like only a matter of time before he truly begins to cut loose under Jose Mourinho.