Manchester United are always linked to big players, whether they have Champions League football or not, and this summer transfer window is no different. With the capturing of Jose Mourinho as their new manager, the Red Devils look more ambitious than ever in their attempts to climb back to the top of English football.
Naturally, United have been linked with some big names over the summer, and there are very few bigger at the moment that Paul Pogba, who is a £100 million target for the club he left on a free. However, should United fail in their bid to sign Pogba, his international team-mate Blaise Matuidi has also been linked with a move to Old Trafford. So, who should Manchester United really go for? Let us know your opinion in the comments below?
Currently, the two players are fairly similar in terms of quality. Both play in nations where their team dominates the league, but have a lot of Champions League experience with their clubs. Both players are strong, quick, energetic and excellent on the ball, with a fierce shot to match.
Pogba edges Matuidi in his ability in tight situations, as he is able to use his superior strength and larger frame to keep possession in the tightest of circumstances. He also possesses more natural skill in these areas, as he showed in the European Championship semi-final last night when he won the ball in Germany’s area and dumped Shkodran Mustafi on his backside in the build up to Antoine Griezmann’s second goal. Pogba is also blessed with natural height which makes him incredible dangerous in the air.
Matuidi though, covers more ground defensively, and is more willing to do the dirty work than Pogba. Although the Juve man has slightly more strength and skill than the PSG midfielder, Matuidi can do everything his international team-mate can do to virtually the same quality.
A great example of his ability is the defence splitting ball he laid on for Olivier Giroud to score the opening goal against Iceland in the quarters of the Euros. He is one of the best midfielders in Europe, and would certainly be an upgrade in United’s current midfield.
Then comes the question of age. Matuidi brings more experience at 29, but that also limits the length of time he could be useful to Manchester United and Mourinho. Pogba, at just 23, could give United a decade of quality football, but his appearances in the Champions League final and, come Sunday, European Championship final means that he doesn’t give much away to Matuidi in terms of experience. This is a fairly level playing field.
Finally comes the question of price. Pogba will cost United £100 million, a world record transfer fee and a ridiculous amount of money for a club to spend on any one player. Matuidi, with his age to consider, would cost way under half the amount of the Juventus player, and naturally represents better value for money.
If money is no object for United, then Pogba’s wonderful blend of youth, experience, skill and athleticism would make him the dream signing for Mourinho. However, Matuidi would give United virtually all of the same things without the baggage of being a £100 million player. Pogba is the slightly better choice, but either would massively improve Manchester United’s midifeld.
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