Why signing Alexis Sanchez has created a less-than-ideal situation for Paul Pogba at Manchester UnitedFood for thought: Why Jose Mourinho should change the team dynamic to solve the Pogba conundrum
When a club pays £89m for a midfielder, the least they can expect is reliability and consistency in return. Unfortunately for Manchester United though, Paul Pogba has been unable to supply either of the two qualities. His arrival was quite a flashy one and the fans were relishing the prospect of having one of the most promising midfielders back at Old Trafford. Although he has shown promising signs on a few occasions, there have been numerous occasions where his performances have been painfully underwhelming.
The recent 2-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur was the best example of that. Pogba is a force to be reckoned with when he plays in an advanced attacking role but if you ask him to drop deep, he seems like an incapable imposter of himself. This has been a long-standing issue of his, ever since he joined United, and it has cost the club a lot of points. That said, there is no doubt that he is one of the club’s most crucial players. However, his lack of defensive contribution is truly an alarming prospect.
His eagerness to surge ahead and contribute to the attack is understandable but not when it comes at the cost of isolating his partner Nemanja Matic and exposing the defenders. However, that is exactly what he did at Wembley and Tottenham gleefully exploited the gaps. Ultimately, he was substituted after a heated exchange with Jose Mourinho on the sidelines and this is a worrisome prospect for the Red Devils especially after the arrival of Alexis Sanchez.
The Chilean superstar is a prolific attacker with a penchant for finding the back of the net but his inclusion leaves no room for Pogba to play the advanced role that he loves so much. Mourinho used Sanchez, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard behind Romelu Lukaku and while they did their duties decently, the Special One must find a way to address the Pogba situation soon. It has been quite evident so far that he is not a naturally defensive player but given the situation at present, it seems like the manager will have to work out a new team dynamic.
Considering the intensity of the Premier League right now, United cannot afford to lose any more games. Their immediate competitors Liverpool and Chelsea are both on par with 50 points and are rapidly closing in on the Red Devils, who are sitting in the 2nd spot with 53 points.
With a title challenge seeming virtually impossible, it will be important for Mourinho to ensure that they can at least finish as runner-ups. If there is any takeaway from the dreadful loss against Spurs, it is that the flamboyant Frenchman cannot play a deeper role. Furthermore, with Champions League football set to resume soon, the Portuguese tactician will have to find a solution to the Pogba conundrum at United.