French World Cup winner Paul Pogba will leave English Premier League giants Manchester United when his contract ends in June this year, the club announced in an official statement. The midfielder has been linked with a move to his former club Juventus, according to several reports, but there has been no confirmation on Pogba’s next destination yet.
Here is the full statement on Pogba’s impending departure from the club:
“The Frenchman has enjoyed a long association with United, having joined the Le Havre club’s Academy aged just 16.
Pogba progressed through the ranks quickly, first impressing at the Under-18s and then moving quickly up to the reserves.
He first caught the eye as part of the Youth Cup side that won the club’s unprecedented 10th success in 2011, playing in both legs of that year’s final against Sheffield United.
The following season he made his first-team debut under Sir Alex Ferguson, in a 3–0 League Cup victory at Leeds United.
But in the summer of 2012, due to stiff competition for places at Old Trafford, Pogba moved to Italian giants Juventus.
He quickly became a hit in Piedmont, helping La Vecchia Signora win four consecutive Serie A titles and a few Coppa Italias.
However, in 2016 he made the emotional decision to return to Old Trafford, aiming to continue the budding United career he started in that breakthrough 2011/12 season.
Immediately installed in the revamped midfielder of José Mourinho, his first campaign in U16 was a great success.
After a sublime ‘second’ start against Southampton, where he wowed the crowd with his complete mastery of midfield, Pogba started two cup finals that would both have seen the Reds lift silverware.
He first played in the 2017 League Cup final against Southampton which ended in a 3-2 victory thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s spectacular late winner. The Swede scored twice and, at full time, Mourinho named Zlatan and Paul as United’s best players.
United progressed to the UEFA Europa League final in Solna, Stockholm a few months later, and it was Pogba who opened the scoring against Ajax, triggering a heartbreaking 2-0 victory, just days after the tragic Manchester Arena bombing.
The ensuing 2017/18 season brought a promising runner-up and arguably Paul’s most admired performance in a red shirt – in the chaotic and memorable Manchester derby in April 2018.
Crosstown rivals City headed into the game at the Etihad knowing a win would give them the title, and with United forced to stay away and watch the celebrations that would inevitably follow.
We found ourselves trailing 2-0 at half-time, with the Blues crawling. A torturous second half looked imminent, but Pogba scored twice in a row to level the scores and silence the City crowd. Chris Smalling quickly put United ahead, pulling off one of the most remarkable turnovers in derby history.
World Cup success followed for France that summer, where Pogba was instrumental in guiding Les Bleus to a 4-2 win over Croatia in the Moscow final, and a consistent presence throughout. throughout the tournament.
Boosted by this career high, the next season, 2018/19, would prove to be the most prolific of Pogba United’s career, with 16 goals in 47 appearances. But managerial changes – with Mourinho leaving to be replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – led to a period of instability for the team.
Injury problems meant just 22 appearances in all competitions in 2019/20, although United battled to an encouraging third place under Solskjaer.
And the team’s upward trajectory continued in 2020/21, where two memorable Pogba stunners – at Turf Moor and Craven Cottage – propelled United top of the table in January 2021.
Paul was also instrumental in Europe. Arriving at half-time in our Europa League Round of 16 second leg against AC Milan, he netted a sublime solo goal at the San Siro to edge United 2-1 on aggregate and provide the decisive moment of the meet.
He scored again in the semi-final against Roma but couldn’t prevent the Reds from sinking to an 11-10 penalty shoot-out loss to Villarreal in the Gdansk final.
Pogba’s final season at the club started extremely promisingly, with four astounding assists on our opening matchday against Leeds United, but further injury problems would ultimately derail his ambitions.
The Frenchman made just 27 appearances under Solskjaer and the Norwegian’s replacement, caretaker manager Ralf Rangnick, and the last of his 233 games for United ended in the 10th minute of a loss at Anfield in April 2022, with Pogba forced off the pitch due to another unfortunate knock.
It was a low-key end to a United career that had brought so many individual highlights, so many fine goals, assists and skill.
But for a boy who joined the Academy at 16 to make more than 200 United appearances and win the Youth Cup, as well as two major pieces of silverware – not to mention the World Cup at international level – c is something that should be applauded and celebrated.
Everyone at the club would like to congratulate Paul on his successful career and thank him for his contribution to Manchester United.
We wish him all the best for the next steps of a remarkable journey.”
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