Paul Pogba’s Seasons at Manchester United

    Paul Pogba celebrates his 4th anniversary at United | Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    Paul Pogba left Manchester United in 2012 as some young kid with a supposed attitude problem, but when he returned on 9 August 2016, he was the world’s most expensive footballer.

    Since the day he came home to Old Trafford, it has been a real rollercoaster for Pogba. There have been silverware-laden highs and Graeme Souness-led lows, but despite all the turbulence, United fans are well aware they have a special talent on the books.

    Let’s take a look at which of his seasons at the club has been the best so far.

    Marc-Antoine Fortune, Paul Pogba
    Pogba struggled to breakthrough at United | Michael Regan/Getty Images

    The 2011/12 season is one Pogba will always remember, as it was the year he made his senior debut.

    He managed seven appearances across the Premier League, League Cup and Europa League, but failed to start a single game and made very little impact, which prompted his eventual exit from the club at the end of the campaign.

    Paul Pogba
    Pogba spent a lot of the 2019/20 season injured | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Since he returned to Old Trafford in 2016, there’s no denying that the 2019/20 campaign has been Pogba’s worst.

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    An ankle injury sidelined him for most of the season, restricting Pogba to just 16 Premier League appearances – six in the first half of the season and ten in the second.

    Alongside all that, there was so much talk about alleged attitude issues. Was Pogba faking his injury to force United to sell him? Had he stopped caring to try and engineer a move to Real Madrid?

    They were all unfounded claims, but they contributed to what was quite a toxic year for Pogba.

    Pogba failed to set the world on fire in his first year back | OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

    Then the world’s most expensive footballer, it’s safe to say that Pogba didn’t fully live up to expectations during his first season back in Manchester.

    He did play a significant role in leading United to Europa League and League Cup glory, but there were regular questions over whether Pogba had the discipline to lead a top-level midfield.

    He ended the campaign with nine goals and six assists from 51 appearances, which is by no means a poor return, but United perhaps wanted a little more from their record asset.

    Paul Pogba
    Pogba delayed Manchester City’s title triumph | Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Those same criticisms of Pogba were still present in the 2017/18 season, but they began to seem a little daft. Despite the odd injury absence, Pogba was really starting to look like a top midfielder.

    The Frenchman’s creative juices began flowing as he finished the campaign with six goals and 12 assists from 37 appearances in all competitions, steering United to second in the Premier League.

    In terms of his best moment, a quickfire double against Manchester City to ensure Pep Guardiola’s side didn’t win the title against them has to be right up there.

    Paul Pogba
    Pogba was United’s shining light | Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

    If you want to know why United spent so much money to bring Pogba back to Manchester, you just need to look at his form in the 2018/19 campaign. He was unplayable.

    Despite United being objectively awful all year, Pogba was on another level. Two goals in his first two games set the tone, and by the time the middle of the season arrived, he was effectively carrying United on his own.

    His form dipped towards the end (as was the case with everyone at United), but when the season came to a close, Pogba had 16 goals and 11 assists to show for it.

    His goals were largely from the penalty spot, but his assists were often sublime. There were cross-field balls, intricate flicks and disguised passes which tore team after team apart.

    That earned him a spot in the PFA Team of the Year, and deservedly so.

    For more from ​Tom Gott, follow him on ​Twitter!

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