Keep or sell Pogba?

The player's agent has said Pogba wants to leave

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Should Manchester United keep or sell Paul Pogba?

By Joe Harker

Mino Raiola, agent to Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, has told The Times his client is "determined" to leave the club.

The agent said he was "in the process" of arranging a transfer elsewhere, with Juventus and Real Madrid interested in making a move.

Pogba has travelled with the United squad on their pre-season tour but he could be gone before the season begins.

Should United sell their wantaway midfielder or hang onto him against his wishes?

Keep:

Pogba's contract runs for another two years with the option to extend by another 12 months, meaning United have time on their side if they decide they will refuse to sell him.

When the player said he wanted a new challenge last month the BBC's Simon Stone reported that United had no intention of selling their record signing and expected him to be available for their first Premier League match.

Although frustratingly inconsistent at United the stats suggest he is their best performer, even if United receive £150 million for Pogba they might find it a difficult task to replace him, particularly with their track record in recruitment.

In the seven seasons since Sir Alex Ferguson retired with yet another Premier League title under his belt, United have finished outside the top four on five occasions. They can't really afford to be offloading their best players when the quality in the rest of the squad is suspect.

Keeping Pogba might mean United are saddled with an inconsistent and frustrating player who wants out but he has an undeniable quality that the club's recruitment history suggests they will struggle to replace.

United finished sixth last season, where might they have ended up without their top scorer and assister?

Sell:

Then again, what's the use in your best player if he wants to leave? United can't have doubts over his commitment and effort if they want to get back into the Champions League.

The Guardian's Paul Wilson reckons United ought to get rid of Pogba, even if they sell him at a loss, because the point is not about money but about facing the reality of the situation.

Pogba, despite his struggles at United, is a player that would fit in at one of the top performing clubs in Europe. United are not currently one of those clubs and therefore should not expect him to stick around forever when he could do much better elsewhere.

Besides, Pogba saying he wants a new challenge and his agent openly speaking about arranging a move to the press is hugely disrespectful towards United. The club is already struggling with a poor dressing room attitude, keeping a player who has indicated he wants to leave will do that collective attitude no favours.

There are other midfielders than Pogba, quality in that position doesn't begin and end with him. Besides, the United midfield is rather poorly balanced and the large transfer fee United would demand for Pogba could fund multiple arrivals that made the team better overall.

The Facts:

Football stat site Squawka reports that last season Pogba was United's top scorer and assister, also having the most shots on target and creating the most chances.

If one should look at his often lackadaisical style in United's midfield they would perhaps think he doesn't try all that hard and contribute more than a few fancy passes.

The stats don't back this up, with him being the player that won possession most often for United last season and also won the most duels, adding to that he conducted the most take-ons and the most passes into the final third for the club last season.

Pogba is, by some distance, United's best midfielder and arguably their best player even if he often doesn't look like it. The club may not realise what they had until it's gone, unless of course they buck the trend of abysmal recruitment and bring in proper replacements.

The asking price quoted for Pogba is somewhere close to £150 million, leaving all interested parties in the difficult situation of not quite being able to afford him despite desire on both sides to get a deal done.

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