Paul Pogba’s £89million price tag was always going to bring with it an enormous weight of expectation.
The Frenchman returned to Manchester United last summer from Juventus in a world record deal, but his critics will argue that he hasn’t yet lived up to his fee.
From a business point of view, United will have made a lot of that money back from commercial deals.
The 24-year-old’s image may entail problems of its own, but to his credit, Pogba appears focused on getting results on the pitch.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s Europa League game against Anderlecht, Pogba told a press conference that he is unfazed by criticism of his performances, as some quarters of the press have been expecting too much of him.
“The press are expecting me to be a defender, a midfielder and a striker – I just have to focus on my job,” he said.
“The people are looking at me, they judge me [on] not scoring goals and stuff like this. The transfer [fee] is something else and on the pitch is something else.
“I’m doing a job. I give some assists to some people and they don’t score – it can happen. Nobody talks about this but it’s fine.
“People talk about the mountain of the transfer. People are looking me, saying: ‘Pogba should score goals, Pogba should do this.’ Sometimes if I can make the team win, I will do it. If I was scoring the goals that hit the crossbar, I don’t think people would speak like this. But it’s football. We just enjoy it, we love it.”
Pogba has scored seven goals in all competitions this season but must be pushing for double figures if he is to be really thought of as a goalscorer.
A lot of United fans would also point to the fact that he’s been incredibly unlucky, hitting the post eight times over the course of the campaign.