Pogba transfer 'a huge gamble' - finance expert

Paul Pogba has completed his £89 million move from Juventus back to Manchester United. Credit: PA

Dr David Webber, University of Warwick:

The return of Paul Pogba to Manchester United for a world-record £89m fee represents both the club’s biggest statement – but also its biggest gamble as United attempt to return to the pinnacle of the English game.

Bankrolled in no small part by United’s share of the £8bn television deal, it represents a shot- across-the- bows of the club’s rivals.

Despite missing out on Champions League football, new boss Jose Mourinho has wasted no time in rebuilding a squad designed to challenge for the title and deliver a swift return to the top-table of European football.

For both Pogba and Manchester United, it certainly caps a remarkable turnaround for a player once described as “deeply disrespectful to the club” by its former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.

Quite what Ferguson now makes of Pogba’s capture is anyone’s guess, but it is seen by the Old Trafford club as a crucial purchase if United are to return to the glory days enjoyed under Sir Alex.

Pogba’s game has undoubtedly matured during his trophy-laden spell at Juventus, and the Stretford End will relish the prospect of him playing alongside his compatriot Anthony Martial, and of course the newly acquired Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Yet Pogba, for all his undoubted quality, represents a huge risk. Indeed several of United’s big money signings of recent years have struggled under the weight of expectation.

With the spotlight upon him during France’s own European Championships, Pogba’s star only flickered.

Now, with this transfer fee now upon his shoulders, whether Pogba can live up to his star billing in the Premier League thickens the plot of what promises to be an intriguing season ahead.

Dr David Webber is a Teaching Fellow of the Dept of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick. Credit: University of Warwick/Dr David Webber