Why Paul Pogba Would Be a Great Foil For Jack Wilshere at Arsenal
It's no wonder that The Express have suggested Arsene Wenger wants to bring Paul Pogba to Arsenal.
Pogba is an athletic, young French midfielder struggling for game time in Serie A. The last time Wenger was able to recruit one of those, he became one of Arsenal's greatest ever players: Patrick Vieira.
Pogba joined Juventus in the summer of 2012 after growing frustrated at failing to earn a sustained run of games in the Manchester United first team. Arsenal were linked by The Metro with Pogba before even then, but a move from Old Trafford to the Emirates Stadium failed to materialise.
Instead, Pogba journeyed to Serie A, joining his third club of an already nomadic career. He has enjoyed considerable success while with the Bianconeri, but has not managed to displace the impressive trio of Claudio Marchisio, Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo.
Pirlo is not getting any younger and Marchisio has been linked by The Mirror with a away from Italy. If Pogba is patient, a regular first-team spot is there for the taking. However, as his acrimonious departure for Old Trafford demonstrates, patience is not one of Pogba's many qualities.
No matter, he has many other attractive attributes. His imposing frame makes him a powerful figure in every match, striding from box to box with supernatural easy.
His physique is complemented by his technique. Pogba has poise to match his power. He also has an eye for a pass and an outstanding shot, as the spectacular goals he racked up in 2012-13 will attest.
Since selling Alex Song to Barcelona, Arsenal have lacked a physical presence in the midfield. Acquiring Pogba would immediately provide them with the steel necessary to allow their more creative talents, including Wilshere, to flourish.
Wilshere and Pogba make for a natural pair. The former's game is based on intricate passing and tight control within a confined space. Pogba's style is more vertical and expansive: he strides up and down the field, spraying passes all over the pitch. Pogba paints in broad, bold strokes; Wilshere is a miniaturist obsessing over detail.
Whoever Arsenal sign this summer, Mikel Arteta is likely to reman as the pivotal figure at the base of their midfield. Fielding Pogba and Wilshere ahead of the Spaniard would provide the Gunners with a degree of flexibility, as both players are equally comfortable in defensive and offensive roles.
Like Marouane Fellaini and Yaya Toure, Pogba is equally effective as a destroyer in front of a back four or an attacking midfielder arriving in the box from deep.
He is arguably at his best when both of these roles are combined. Pogba's excellent stamina allows him to cover enormous amounts of ground in any one game, making him ideal to take over Aaron Ramsey's role as the all-action midfielder supporting both the defensive efforts of Arteta and the creative talents of Wilshere.
Comparing Pogba with Vieira is perhaps a little unfair. If the French midfielder joins the Arsenal squad this summer, he will be both determined and primed to write his own legend.
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