In Depth

Paul Pogba: What must Man Utd achieve to justify £100m fee?

Leicester City won the Premier League with a team that cost £23m, so Pogba will have to make a big impression

With Paul Pogba destined to become the first £100m footballer, his transfer from Juventus to Manchester United has provoked a rare moment of reflection within the sport.

A deal for the Frenchman is expected within days, but Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is not convinced that any player is worth so much money.

Speaking during his club's tour of the US, he said that such an outlay represented a huge risk, and also threatened the team ethic.

"If you bring one player in for £100m and he gets injured, then it all goes through the chimney," he said. "The day that this is football, I'm not in a job anymore, because the game is about playing together.

"You always want to have the best, but building the group is necessary to be successful," he added.

The German has concentrated on reinforcing the Liverpool squad this summer, and has signed seven players, including £30m signing Sadio Mane.

"Klopp has rebuilt his Liverpool side this summer for £30m less than the single fee for Pogba, and the manager was clear that he would not be happy spending such a large amount on an individual," says the Daily Mail.

Arsenal's famously parsimonious boss Arsene Wenger has also "railed at the transfer spend" of his rivals, says The Guardian, describing the amount of money changing hands as "scary".

What's more Pogba is not a striker, so his contribution to the team will not be as tangible as a goalscorer's would, says Alistair Tweedale of the Daily Telegraph.

"So you have to wonder, what would it take for a £100m Pogba to succeed at Manchester United?"

Last year he scored eight goals and provided 12 assists as Juventus won the title, but that doesn't tell the whole story.

"He grabbed game after game by the scruff of the neck and was widely regarded as the best player in Italy. But to justify his expected fee, Pogba would have to do more than merely be United's best player... He would have to drag United to a first Premier League title in the post-Fergie era. Doing so from central midfield in a team with four players in more attacking positions than him is some challenge."

Leicester won the Premier League last season with a team of unheralded players that cost £23m to assemble, a quarter of the cost of the French midfielder.

And he cannot afford to slip up. If Pogba were to be outplayed by, say, Danny Drinkwater of Leicester or Mark Noble of West Ham next season what would it say about his value?

Against those metrics Pogba will "have to do something really special to avoid failure at Old Trafford".

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