In recent weeks, Paul Pogba has been in scintillating form for Manchester United. One of the stars of Manchester United’s rise to the top of the Premier League table was the French World Cup winner, scoring vital goals in wins at West Ham, Burnley and Fulham away.
Pogba hammered home in an interview with Rio Ferdinand for BT Sport ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Sheffield United that he and his teammates would not be happy until they had silverware to show for their shape, but he also remained coy about questions at Old Trafford about his long-term future.
Ferdinand eventually brought up the issue of a contract extension after more than ten minutes of general conversation, a question Pogba seemed to be anticipating.
Waiting for this one, you were! I have a deal, I enjoy myself and I’m here. Everyone knows I’ve got one year left, and I’m going to talk to the club and see what’s going on. As I say, my dream, my goal, is to win something for now. All that I’m thinking about is winning. Bring all of my attention, give my best, give the most support to my team. […] It is not necessary to have a deal, it is to win.
It seems as if at Manchester United Pogba is satisfied, although his response does not go all the way to satisfying his nay-sayers on his long-term future. He did, however, consistently drive home both himself and the team’s ambitions to win something.
We played a very good, very good, great performance. But, in the end, we haven’t won anything yet, so that’s what we want to do—play well and win trophies. We don’t just want to win cups and play with ****. We’re never going to be satisfied, so we’re trying to get the winning attitude back.
At Man Utd, Pogba’s time was not short of controversy. The Frenchman has been the target of criticism from many pundits, with Graeme Souness being his most outspoken critic. In both the José Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eras, he has been accused of a lack of motivation and destabilizing team spirit and has spent extended stretches out of the team at many stages of his nearly five years at United since returning to the Juventus club in 2016.
Neither did the actions of his lawyer, Mino Raiola, go unnoticed, with Raiola openly announcing just weeks ago that Pogba was unhappy at United and wanted to leave in the transfer window of January.
Pogba’s results on the field of late and happy demeanor may seem to refute his agent’s ruminations, but he remains a controversial figure among United fans, not least because of Raiola’s behavior.