Manchester City are on course for a measured, pragmatic and successful transfer window. Two impressive signings have been sealed and more have been promised.
There could still be exits to keep the squad size at a competitive level, and also recover funds already spent on Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez. Overall, though, City’s aim to deal quickly and decisively in the summer window looks to be on course to set them up well for another title challenge.
Only last month, Pogba was an option for City as it became clear United were not going to keep the World Cup winner. It would have been a sensational cross-city move that only a few have made, and there is no doubting his quality when he’s at his best.
Except United got rid of him at the end of his contract because he has rarely been at his best, and his off-field baggage came to outweigh any on-field contributions he could offer. Now, with the release of his ‘Pogmentary’, City will watch closely and realise he would have never been a success at City.
Already, Pogba has annoyed United fans by criticising the club for not offering him a new deal – even though he has spent the last two years saying he wanted to leave, spending most of that time either out of action or underperforming. He says he wants to prove United wrong for not trying to keep him, and show other clubs that United made a mistake by letting him leave.
But why would they? One good game in 10 (at best) isn’t worth his high wages, and it was becoming clear that if United were to improve, it would have to be without an individual player like Pogba.
And that begs the question why would City want him? If he repeated his international form for his club on a weekly basis he may be worth the outside noise, but even on a free transfer it’s hard to see how Pogba would have fit in at City. With his brand-focussed documentary, it’s another reminder that he would have never worked at the Etihad.
Phil Foden spoke of City’s team ethos this week, saying: “We seem to have a lot of scorers, maybe it’s down to the rotation but we’re so good as a team. Maybe we don’t have individual players. We work hard as a team, and believe in each other.”
Even Erling Haaland, City’s marquee signing this summer, will have to adapt to Pep Guardiola’s style rather than the Blues adapting to him. As it should be.
Pogba’s documentary speaks of building the player’s brand as equal to his role as a footballer. That’s absolutely fine, however it’s not the profile of player City have built a squad around. United belatedly realised that no player is bigger than the club, and the ‘Pogmentary’ won’t do anything to change their mind on that.
City have moved on as Pogba is Juventus-bound, so can watch their former transfer option knowing they had a lucky escape by not making a move.