By the time you read this, the deal may very well be done: Paul Pogba to Manchester United.
On the surface, it’s a move that seems to make sense.
Not since the days of Paul Scholes have United had a majestic midfielder with the ability to turn a game on its head, and there’s absolutely no doubt that Pogba has the ‘star quality’ that would make United’s rivals sit up and take notice.
But that’s before you start discussing his fee.
Which, if rumours are to be believed, is north of £100 million.
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) July 31, 2016
The question I find myself asking is: is Pogba really that good?
Let’s take a quick tour through some of the other big-money transfers that have happened over the last few years.
Sitting at the top of the tree at present is Gareth Bale, who moved from Spurs to Real Madrid for £93.1 million in 2013.
His Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, who left United in 2009 to join Real in a £83.7 million deal, is second.
Third on the list is Gonzalo Higuain, who moved to Juventus from Napoli for £75.3 million just last month.
If we forget Higuain for a second and look at the two footballers who are at the top of the tree, can we really say that Pogba is worth more than either one of those players?
Arsene Wenger thinks it’s “crazy” that Manchester United could be about to spend £100m on Paul Pogba 💰 pic.twitter.com/zGc0iZE1f3
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) July 31, 2016
It almost goes without saying that he’s not worth more than Ronaldo. The guy was incredible at Old Trafford and has become a hero in Madrid, breaking countless records in the process.
Bale might not be at that stage yet, but he’s going in the right direction, winning the Champions League twice so far and playing a key role in the crucial 10th European trophy in 2014.
He’s won four Serie A trophies in a pretty uncompetitive league, and he’s finished as a runner-up in the Champions League.
Not comparable really.
You might think that his international record makes him more attractive. You’d be wrong. He’s won no trophies for France and he’s played 38 times, scoring on six occasions.
Not the kind of stats that blow your mind.
Now just to be clear, I think that Pogba has got the potential to be a fantastic player, I really do.
But £100 million?
Not on your nelly. He just hasn’t proved himself to be worth that kind of money. Think about Euro 2016. Did he cover himself in glory? Not really. He looked decent, but frequently lost.
He may be only 23, but when these kinds of figures are being bandied around, age is just a number. If this move goes through, Pogba will need to hit the ground running in the Premier League, a division he’s never played in. If he doesn’t, he could end up being the answer to the pub debate, “Who is Premier League’s most expensive flop?”.
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) July 30, 2016