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Paul Pogba celebrates his opener in the Supercoppa Italiana with teammate Andrea Pirlo.
Club Caps: 27 (5 goals)
The acquisition of Paul Pogba on a Bosman from Manchester United was already paying dividends when Udinese visited the Juventus Stadium on January 19, 2013.
It was then that Pogba cemented himself as a future star.
He scored two goals that night. The first was a screamer from well outside the box in the first half. After the intermission he went from even longer—nearly 40 yards out after giving himself room to shoot with a nifty spin move.
Pogba was playing at such an incredibly high level by the end of the season last year that Antonio Conte moved Claudio Marchisio to the trequartista position of a 3-5-1-1 in order to make a place in the starting XI for the Frenchman.
The acquisition of reinforcements for the forward line means that Pogba will likely start the year as a supersub and occasional starter when Juve's "MVP" midfield of Claudio Marchisio, Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo need a rest.
He proved that value in Sunday's Supercoppa Italiana. As an early sub for Marchisio, Pogba scored three minutes after coming on when he followed the scrum for the ball following a short free kick routine and buried a deflected ball with a first-time shot on the turn.
He also assisted on the last goal of Juve's 4-0 thrashing of Lazio. When Stephan Lichtsteiner's shot was saved by Federico Marchetti, Pogba headed towards goal only to be thwarted by an impressive effort by the Lazio keeper. Pogba calmly gathered his own rebound and laid the ball off to an onrushing Carlos Tevez to seal the rout.
Pogba's international star is also on the rise. He's already received his first senior cap for France—against Spain no less—and captained France to the U-20 World Cup title this past summer, winning the tournament's Golden Ball in the process.
If the Supercoppa is any indication, Pogba looks to pick up right where he left off last year at the Juventus Stadium. Expectations will be high, but he looks more than capable of meeting—or exceeding—them.
Fans watching Juventus this year will be able to watch not only the best young midfielder in Italy, but one of the best in the world.