Real Madrid are in need of a squad overhaul this summer. They have endured a woeful season after three immaculate years under the tutelage of Zinedine Zidane during which they secured a hat-trick of Champions League titles.
The Frenchman is now back in charge at the Bernabeu after both of his successors – Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari – paid the price for the side’s substandard displays. Despite this, the team requires a revamp. The man they need to front a new look lineup must be inspirational, distinguished and highly skilful; the man they need is Paul Pogba.
Madrid have been through one of the darkest periods in their history, crashing out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage following a 4-1 humiliation at home to Ajax. That failure compounded a torrid two week spell in which they lost twice to bitter rivals Barcelona, those results ensuring it would be a trophy-less year for the 13-time European champions.
With that being the case something must change. They have an ageing, misfiring squad crying out for reinforcements and Pogba is the player they should be targeting.
There are numerous reasons for this, with one of the foremost being his stellar showings for Manchester United in recent months. The midfielder may have been distinctly unimpressive towards the start of the campaign, but that was more a reflection of the Red Devils’ overall inadequacies.
Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival at Old Trafford he has been transformed and now appears to be reaching his full potential. He has netted nine times in all competitions under the Norwegian, with his ability to dictate proceedings and masterful skill-set exciting those watching on from the stands.
Madrid would be purchasing a player who is genuinely world class. His displays during France’s World Cup triumph last summer led to countless plaudits and he is now reaching that level on a consistent basis. What’s more, at the age of 26 Pogba is coming in to his prime; the Spaniards would be getting the best years out of him.
That he has flourished under Solskjaer is noteworthy given the similarities the 46-year-old has to Zidane. Both are known for their rapport amongst their players, showcasing strong man-management skills and a sympathetic nature. If Solskjaer can get the best out of Pogba, then Zidane should be more than capable, too.
Another motivation for Los Blancos to sign the former Juventus player is the role he fulfils in the team. Luka Modric, their current playmaker, has been exquisite since arriving from Tottenham in 2012, but is now entering the twilight of his career. He received the Golden Ball for his performances for Croatia in Russian, yet mere months later is struggling to rediscover his once-scintillating form.
Modric is certainly losing his powers and Real have suffered as a consequence. Whilst Cristiano Ronaldo was setting new standards in front of goal, it was the midfield maestro who would make the team tick. He is no longer able to carry them on his weary shoulders, with Pogba being the best possible candidate to take on that creative role.
The Croatian is not the only one nearing the end of his time in the Spanish capital. Gareth Bale looks set for a summer switch away following intense criticism from his own supporters, leaving the side somewhat short of ‘Galacticos’. A team as illustrious as Real Madrid are expected to possess numerous players worthy of such a tag to satisfy their swathes of fans across the globe.
As one of the Premier League’s most renowned players Pogba certainly fits the billing, with his huge social media following also making him an attractive prospect. The influence he exerts online would be hugely beneficial for the club as they attempt to further expand their supporter base and financial might.
Signing the France international could replicate what Ronaldo’s transfer did for Juve, the Italians seeing both their share price and social media accounts receive a sizeable boost in the wake of the latter’s arrival in Turin.
The final reason why Zidane’s superiors should push for a deal relates to the United man’s mentality and the immense pressure of joining Madrid. Transferring to the Bernabeu brings with it heavy scrutiny, under which many players have wilted.
It takes more than ability to succeed at this prestigious club. One must also have the correct mindset to manage the enormous expectations that becoming a ‘Galactico’ entails. James Rodriguez and Kaka are just a couple of examples of expensive signings who were unable to cope.
Unlike them, Pogba has the demeanour to thrive in such conditions. His World Cup performances, experience of captaining United and confident manner online all demonstrate exactly how well he handles pressure.