‘It’s hard to show you’re worth €105m’ – Pogba’s Man Utd struggles explained by ex-Juventus team-mate Barzagli
A man who played alongside the mercurial Frenchman during his first spell in Turin is delighted to see a familiar face return to Serie A
Paul Pogba can be forgiven for finding things difficult at Manchester United as it’s ‘difficult to show you’re worth 105m euros (£89m/$107m)’, says former team-mate Frenchman at Juventus, Andrea Barzagli.
A mercurial France international is completing a return to the stages in Turin after six largely frustrating seasons at Old Trafford – with a 2016 move there making him the most expensive player on the planet at the time.
Pogba won trophies in his first season in England under Jose Mourinho but struggled with form and fitness for long stretches and is returning to Italian football as a free agent with much to prove at club level. .
Why did Pogba struggle at Man Utd?
Barzagli worked alongside Pogba after he swapped his first Premier League life for Serie A in 2012 and is eager to defend a talented performer against his critics, saying Tutosport: “In Manchester, he had the burden of having to prove that he was worth the 105 million invested by United.
“From the outside, you don’t see the pressure that a boy, no matter how young, has to endure when expectations are very high. If you are a player who scores 60 goals a year, fine, otherwise it is difficult to show that you are worth 105 million.
“It weighed a lot. The player is however not disputed: he is still young and is the one who tips the balance. He will have a great desire to get back on track. And win. For Juventus, it’s a lot.
Barzagli added: “Pogba is an internationally renowned player and has played for Juventus before.
“Paul knows what it’s like to wear this jersey and he knows what it means to win. And above all he brings personality, quality, goals and assists.
“But what matters most to him is that mix of personality and quality which has waned a bit in recent years.”
Are Juventus doing good business in 2022?
Alongside Pogba, Juve have also reached an agreement to bring in Angel Di Maria as a free agent.
The experienced Argentine striker has spent the last seven years at Paris Saint-Germain and, as a former Real Madrid and Manchester United player, he has proven himself at the highest level.
Barzagli said he saw the Bianconeri sign a 34-year-old South American: “I faced Di Maria when he was at Real Madrid. He’s an incredible quality player.
“I’m curious to see him in the Italian league. He’s a great buy for Juventus. He can invent a decisive play at any time. It’s a gift that few have in modern football.
The legendary ex-Juve defender added on Juve’s business compared to big rivals Inter: “[Romelu] Lukaku has shown he can make a difference in Serie A, but the two Juventus signings bring that personality and quality that was a bit lacking.
“Pogba and Di Maria will make Juventus even better.”
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