Paul Pogba seems more and more likely to remain at Manchester United for at least one more season, but fans and pundits alike remain divided about his true value to the club.
Most would agree that on his day, Pogba is one of the best players in the world, but there are questions from some over his consistency and attitude.
This leavess fans divided over whether the Red Devils should cash in now on the World Cup winner, even at a reduced price, or watch him go through another season before potentially leaving on a free transfer.
However, a new set of statistics published this week by Statman Dave suggests that the Frenchman is more invaluable to the Manchester United side than many might have thought.
The statistician has calculated that since the 28-year-old re-joined United in 2016, he ranks top at the club for passes into the final third (1,300), possession won (857), passes into the box (554), successful dribbles (278), fouls won (247), chances created (207) and assists (29).
He has also scored the third most goals in that time (28).
Paul Pogba in the PL among MUFC players since he rejoined OTD in 2016:
1,300 passes into the final third [????]
857 x possession won [????]
554 passes into the box [????]
278 successful dribbles [????]
247 fouls won [????]
207 chances created [????]
29 assists [????]
28 goals [????] pic.twitter.com/EUNknJXRBR
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) August 9, 2021
It is an impressive collection of data, but there are factors that should be taken into account.
First of all, only Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have been at the club since that time, with the first three having limited opportunities in the first team and/or going out on loan over the past two years.
Second, it could be argued that Pogba has seen more minutes on the ball and been given more freedom to use the ball creatively than any other would-be candidates for some of these top spots.
But nonetheless, the list above does not just feature creativity scores. The fact that Pogba is top in categories such as possession won and fouls won is a testament to his all-round game. Nemanja Matic, for example, has 130 games in that time – a very similar number to Pogba (137), and would be expected to be well ahead of the Frenchman on possession won.
Some might argue that Statman Dave has made an error in awarding Pogba the most Premier League assists during that period, as Rashford has 36 (38 in total) according to Transfermarkt.com.
Whatever the future holds for Pogba, these statistics certainly show that his contribution over the last five years has been significant and important. He would, for many reasons, be a hard act to follow.