ALVISE CAGNAZZO: Paul Pogba has not played a SINGLE minute for Juventus this season due to a knee injury – his long-awaited second debut should be in January, but is there room for him in the starting XI now the Old Lady have returned to form?
- Paul Pogba has had a nightmare spell at Juventus since returning this summer
- Pogba is yet to play competitively this season due to suffering a knee injury
- After a rough patch, Juventus are enjoying a purple-patch of form in Serie A
Paul Pogba is set to finally make his Juventus next year, six months later than planned after suffering a meniscus injury that has been badly managed by his entourage.
In their last six Serie A matches, Pogba hasn’t been missed – with Juventus scoring 12 goals, keeping six clean sheets over 540 minutes.
When Juventus were in a bad patch they then won the Turin derby to start their impressive run of results.
Paul Pogba (left) has been a spectator for Juventus since re-joining the club this summer
Pogba returned to Juventus amid a big fanfare but hasn’t played once this season due to injury
His only outings for the Italian giants have been in pre-season before his meniscus injury
After a confrontation in the locker room, the team decided to change tact by favouring the gradual entry of the golden youngster in Nicolo Fagioli and Fabio Miretti, called up today by the Italian national team of Roberto Mancini. Both are two dangerous options for him and are now set to strive forward with Juventus and Italy.
While they’re shining in Pogba’s absence, he is working hard on retuning to action in January. The only reason he didn’t go to the World Cup was because he is not 100 per cent fit and if he did get injured in Qatar then his relations with Juve would worsen.
Pogba is an important player, with an important pedigree and a four-year contract at the Italian giants. The question is though where does he fit into Massimiliano Allegri’s system when fit – especially with Fagioli and Miretti shining?
Nicolo Fagioli (left) and Fabio Miretti have stepped up in Pogba’s absence brilliantly for Juve
Juventus have had an up-and-down season so far but things are on in a good trajectory now and this is without Pogba throughout and Federico Chiesa for the majority of it.
At the beginning of October, no one thought Juventus could be third in Serie A but the results achieved puts Allegri in a position of advantage: to be able to use Pogba as a new signing in the new year.
Adrien Rabiot, Miretti, Fagioli and Manuel Locatelli have all saved Juventus’ season so far, covering the hole in midfield left by Pogba and then Leandro Paredes and Weston McKennie.
Once Pogba returns it appears that Rabiot will start alongside his French compatriot in midfield with Paredes and McKennie. Then Fagioli and Miretti will rotate with Locatelli a super-sub able to replace any of those figures.
Midfielder Adrien Rabiot (right) has been key to Juventus’ fine return to form in Serie A
JUVENTUS ARE DISAPPOINTED BY POGBA
Pogba must regain Juventus’ confidence. This is his mission after a disastrous start to the year. Right now he is a UFO with zero minutes in a Juventus shirt this season. His physique is like a torn canvas that struggles to be stitched up.
In his six years at Manchester United, the France star missed 100 games due to various physical problems. The worst season was in 2019-20 when he sat out of 45 fixtures due to a battered ankle. with 45 at home from the battered ankle.
His contribution to Juventus’ cause has been non-existent since his return and it has aggravated the club who miss his qualities.
His fear of undergoing an operation created a short circuit in the Juventus medical staff who lost Pogba for 90 days to respect the player’s wish not to have a meniscus surgery. Yet his salary has not decreased: £7million-a-year for four years – which up to now is an incredible burden for the financial strength of a club that has not yet fielded their No 10.
Now it will be up to Pogba to regain the trust of CEO Maurizio Arrivabene and Andrea Agnelli by becoming a technical value on the pitch.
Juventus want to see their No 10 on the pitch in 2023 and not on the sidelines out injured
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