Paul Pogba’s Form Crucial for Manchester United’s Title Chances

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ADRIAN DENNIS / Contributor

The opening weekend of the Premier League season saw many of England’s top sides cruise to comfortable victories, but none more so than Manchester United after their dominating effort against Leeds United.

The Red Devils scored five goals and completely controlled Marcelo Bielsa’s side from start to finish with Bruno Fernandes pacing that attack with three of those goals.

However, the story of the match was Paul Pogba and his four assists, which put him into exclusive Premier League company. In fact, Pogba became the latest and only the seventh all-time in England’s top flight to record four assists in a match.

Pogba’s performance shouldn’t be surprising given his natural talents and his pedigree of shining at both Juventus and Man United, but his strong early-season start bodes extremely well for the Old Trafford side.

Pogba played a significant role in France’s midfield during the 2018 World Cup, which Les Bleus went on to win, and in order for United to have similar success they’ll need him to be a cog in the center of the park.

Against Leeds, Pogba completed the most significant passes with five, according to WhoScored. 

Pogba’s ability to find passes that most players aren’t capable of obviously makes him an elite-level talent, but the biggest difference is that the Frenchman completes his duties on both ends of the pitch.

There’s also the argument to be made that the adversity Pogba has faced at the club has actually made him a stronger player and certainly given the Man United fans a greater appreciation for the 28-year-old midfielder. 

Former United star turned broadcaster Rio Ferdinand even suggested post-match that Pogba looks happier this season.

“Pogba, four assists, he didn't look like someone who's unhappy,” Ferdinand said. “When the game went a bit flat, Pogba and Fernandes came alive.”

During the Jose Mourinho era at Old Trafford, Pogba’s feud with the Portuguese manager was highly public and got nasty at times. Sure, Pogba and his agent Mino Raiola had their share of missteps over the years, but under Ole Gunnar Solskjær the France international has been nothing but professional.

United surely will be in the title mix in 2021/22 and despite the attention going towards new signings Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, it could come down to an existing player like Pogba that could lead the club to its first top-flight title since the 2012/13 campaign.

Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool will serve as huge challengers once again, but an in-form Pogba bodes well for his side’s aspirations both domestically and in Europe.

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