Paul Pogba boasts a level of celebrity that ensures his every move is dissected in minute detail. He has positioned himself under the brightest of spotlights, with his natural ability allowing a standing among football’s elite to be taken up.
He was once good enough to make a breakthrough at Manchester United and spend four years collecting major honours in Turin, before returning to English football in 2016 as the most expensive player on the planet. The expectation was that he would thrive when back on the Red Devils’ books.
ʙᴀᴄᴋ ʟɪᴋᴇ ɪ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ ʟᴇғᴛ #PogbackToBack ⚪⚫️ pic.twitter.com/I4oK4U9NN3
— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) July 11, 2022
That never really happened and it came as little surprise when an opportunity to depart as a free agent in 2022 was taken up. At that stage, more steps were retraced by the enigmatic midfielder as he headed back to Juventus and Serie A.
Early setbacks have kept Pogba out of action for the Bianconeri and prevented him from filling a spot in a France squad that sits at 7/1 in World Cup odds from Paddy Power to successfully defend a global crown in Qatar.
Having played a prominent role for his country at the 2018 finals, with a goal recorded in a final victory over Croatia, the mercurial Frenchman is understandably disappointed to have been denied a shot at adding to his impressive medal collection, which was covered on Football Italia.
His agent, Rafaela Pimenta has said: “Pogba suffers for not being at the World Cup, but he knows that at the end of the day, he has to wake up and continue recovering. He wants to play to give Juventus what they deserve.”
Surgery has been required on a knee injury picked up during pre-season as confirmed on the official Juventus page, with initial delays when it came to going under the knife pushing a potential return date back. There is, however, hope that a popular figure will be gracing famous black and white stripes again in the new year.
Pogba has said of the progress he is making: “I’m fine – the operation went very well. We will recover and come back.” Juventus will not be back in competitive action until taking in a trip to Cremonese on January 4, 2023.
Time is still very much on Pogba’s side when it comes to putting himself in contention for minutes in that contest, but he cannot be expected to step straight in and be fully match-sharp from the off. International action would have aided that cause, but fate has been accepted there.
Paul Pogba was so good at the last World Cup 🥺 pic.twitter.com/H2GFoPhyFi
— GOAL (@goal) September 6, 2022
The obvious question now is, how long will it take for the all-action playmaker to get up to speed? Juve are not in a position where passengers can be carried, with those taking to the field required to operate at nothing less than 100 percent.
It is going to take some time for Pogba to get there, with his game all about energy, confidence and touch while driving through the middle of the park. Memories of his previous stint in Turin remain fresh, as a place among the best in the business was secured, and the hope is that similar levels can be achieved in double-quick time once a delayed second debut for the Bianconeri is taken in.