Anything that could have gone wrong for Paul Pogba during the 2021/2022 season did. Indeed, if it wasn’t a lack of form or ill-discipline, it was injury, which, in the end, led to a spectacular falling out with the Manchester United fans whose final song to the Frenchman was a seething rendition of “you’re not fit to wear the shirt”.
It was of course an unfortunate end to Pogba’s second coming at Old Trafford but hope sprung eternal after Juventus re-signed the midfielder in a bid to win back the Serie A title from AC Milan. Although the latest football betting odds price Juve at 9/5 to do just that which tells you everything you need to know about the upcoming season in Turin: nothing will be handed to Massimiliano Allegri’s men for free.
This is why Pogba’s signing was seen as such a crucial addition to Il Bianconeri as Juve had their work cut out for them whilst the 29-year-old had a point to prove. In short, a fired-up Pogba free of injury would have given Juventus their best chance of reclaiming the Serie A Scudetto but that is no longer a possibility, at least, in the short term, after the Frenchman suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee. It should be said that the prognosis isn’t overly optimistic either with regards to being sidelined with Pogba scheduled to be out for between two and three months.
It is, regrettably, another setback for the 2018 World Cup winner and the very last thing that the midfielder would have wanted after an injury-hit 2021/2022 season. It is, undoubtedly, an awkward start to Pogba’s second stint at the Allianz Arena given that fans have a tendency to take note of injury when it is the first thing to happen to a player after arriving.
On top of that, the dissenting voices 732 miles away in Manchester will be getting even louder with regards to Pogba developing a reputation for being consistently injured which will surely, in this day and age of social media, be playing on the minds of the Juve faithful. It may be too harsh to say that Pogba has already started to burn through goodwill in Turin, but similarly, he now has a mark against his name despite not kicking a ball for his new team in the 2022/2023 Serie A season.
You can all of a sudden begin to see that this particular meniscus tear is not as innocuous as it ordinarily would have been but rather, another defining moment in Pogba’s career that has well and truly stalled.
In many respects, you could now be forgiven for asking if the world will ever see the supremely gifted version of Pogba again when you consider that staying fit has become significantly harder than it has ever been for him.
Whatever your thoughts on that particular question may be, the inescapable truth is that the 29-year-old is in an unenviable position and simply can’t afford to flop in Turin as he did during large spells at Old Trafford. It’s now or never for one of France’s most talented players.