Manchester United have confirmed that club-record signing Paul Pogba is to leave the club when his contract expires in June.
Whilst there’s no doubt that plenty of clubs will be in for the World Cup-winning Frenchman – who is undoubtedly talented – Arsenal shouldn’t be one of those interested parties, despite their unquestionable need to add depth in the middle of the park.
As it always is with transfer windows, the Gunners will be linked with a handful of names in the coming months. In fact, less than a few months ago, when Pogba’s United future was undecided, there was a wavering suggestion that Edu and Co could look to keep him in England.
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But with what Arsenal and Mikel Arteta are building at the Emirates, bountiful wages aren’t what the project needs. Plus, it also completely contradicts the transfer strategy the club have worked under over the past year or so.
Barring a few, the majority of Arteta’s signings – including all six who signed last summer – have been promising players under the age of 25. Whilst the Spaniard has suggested that he’ll look to bring in more complete and experienced professionals this time around, as well as adding youth in some areas once more, signing Pogba would be a mistake.
Of course, there would be no fee to pay to Man United. But having cleared hundreds and thousands of pounds from the wage bill over the course of the past few transfer windows – especially in the winter market, where the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil have left the club – adding to it for short-term gain would disrupt Arteta’s long-term vision.
There’s also the argument that Arteta hasn’t yet mastered the ability to control the biggest of egos. Pogba has had issues with a number of managers. Whilst his talent has probably merited a starting position in an otherwise weak United side in recent years, he’s often been criticised for his temperament.
Understandably, we as neutrals will never know the ins and outs, and perhaps there were times where he was unfairly scapegoated, but if at least some of what’s been reported over his United tenure is true, Arteta doesn’t have the experience, nor the patience to control him.
That’s not a criticism of Arteta either, as his non-negotiables policy has actually galvanised a youthful squad. But it’s a recognition that he’s let those known to be disruptive go, sometimes for less than what Pogba has been given stick for.
And at 29, the Gunners would once again be signing someone who has no resell value. A major issue the club have had in recent years is letting hugely talented players go for nothing, whilst their competitors – namely Liverpool – have recouped some huge sums for truly average players. Sure, Pogba would provide a short-term fix, but he’d almost certainly be leaving the club worse off within a matter of years.
Pogba to Arsenal is unlikely anyways, and one would fully expect Edu and Arteta to avoid him nonetheless. But to any Arsenal fan who understands the process and vision in place, even giving the slightest consideration to a possible deal is nonsensical.
Source by Football London