Paul Pogba Is the 1 Player Real Madrid Should Be Targeting This Summer

Rahul Kalvapalle@@rahulmadridContributor IIIJune 19, 2014

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, of France, controls the ball during a Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Livorno at the Juventus stadium, in Turin, Italy, Monday, April 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)
Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

Forget Luis Suarez; Paul Pogba is the player Real Madrid should go all out to sign this summer transfer window. 

Carlo Ancelotti already has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal in attack, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Angel Di Maria and Jese providing pace, power and clinical finishing.

The defence also looks in good shape, with Ancelotti able to count on multiple world-class options across the back line. 

If Real Madrid do decide to splash the cash this summer transfer window, they should do so on 21-year-old midfielder Pogba.

The Juventus man, who is starring for France in the World Cup, is one of the few players in world football capable of strengthening an already fearsome Real Madrid squad.

Arguably the most talented young midfielder in world football, Pogba can help take Real Madrid's midfield to the next level in ways that Asier Illarramendi and Casemiro—for all their promise—simply cannot.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti favours a 4-3-3 formation featuring a three-man midfield. This system requires a trio of technically adept midfielders who can all contribute to defending, ball distribution and attacking.

Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric are cultured passing midfielders, but lack the physicality to stifle world-class opponents. 

Sami Khedira is a disciplined defensive midfielder who offers work rate and sacrifice, but the German’s technique is average and he often labours on the ball, sucking the momentum out of promising attacking moves.

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When Khedira is absentas was the case for much of the 2013-14 seasonReal Madrid's midfield becomes lightweight.

This makes Los Merengues vulnerable against fit, energetic opposing midfielders who can scythe through the team's soft centre and expose its back line. 

What Real Madrid need is a “silk and steel” player who can function as a midfield destroyer without compromising the team's possession game. 

That player is Paul Pogba.

The former Manchester United youth-teamer has such a complete skill set that it’s impossible to categorize him as a defensive, box-to-box or playmaking midfielder, since he combines attributes of all three roles.

What's obvious is that he is a player in the Patrick Vieira mould—a tall, long-limbed “alpha” midfielder who combines aggression and ferocity off the ball with elegance and technique on it.

He’s so good that Vieira himself has stated that Pogba is better than he was at the same age.

Patrick Vieira, with whom Pogba has been compared, also played for Juventus.
Patrick Vieira, with whom Pogba has been compared, also played for Juventus.ALBERTO PELLASCHIAR/Associated Press/Associated Press

Like the former Arsenal captain, Pogba is a tough customer who relentlessly breathes down opponents' necks and snaps at their heels, never allowing them a moment's rest. 

He also has the vast passing range and useful dribbling ability of his illustrious compatriot.

Pogba cannot be easily pressured off the ball and is adept at getting out of tight situations by dribbling, passing or simply battering his way out of them.

As if dominating the midfield weren't enough, Pogba is also a potent attacking force. He has a venomous long-range shot and has produced a number of spectacular goals for Juventus.

His height—he stands at 6'4"—also makes him an excellent aerial weapon. Imagine having to deal with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos, Pepe (or Raphael Varane) and Pogba all attacking the ball from corner kicks.

Playing attributes aside, Pogba also appears to have the self-confidence and mental fortitude needed to excel in the pressure-cooker environment of the Santiago Bernabeu. He has boldly stated his desire to become the best player in the world, something FourFourTwo magazine's Jonathan Fadugba rightly points out he is well capable of achieving:

Of course, as with any 20-year-old, there is a way to go before Pogba can truly be considered one of the best players in the world. But with every single-minded interview he gives about wanting to be the best and every 20-yard thunderbolt he rifles into the net of an unsuspecting Serie A keeper, the conviction grows.

Pogba's confidence—bordering on arrogance—will keep him going if times get tough at Real Madrid.

His swagger and charisma will also endear him to Real Madrid's demanding fans, who are not likely to take kindly to the arrival of someone like Chelsea midfielder Ramires, another rumoured transfer target for Los Merengues, per Hugo Cerezo of Marca.com.

Pogba is a purchase for the present and the future. At 21, he is still a toddler in footballing terms, and he can become a mainstay of Real Madrid's midfield for a decade.

He has already played alongside one of the world's finest midfielders in Andrea Pirlo at Juventus. Playing alongside another midfield legendXabi Alonsowill help him further expand his game. 

Meanwhile, his integration into the dressing room will be eased by the presence of a sizeable French contingent comprising France teammates Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane, and assistant coach Zinedine Zidane.

Both Benzema and Varane have publicly stated their desire to team up with Pogba in the famous white jersey. 

Meanwhile, Zidane will be able to guide Pogba both on and off the field. From whom would it be better to learn how to become the best player in the world than Zidane?

Everything is in place for Pogba to shine at a Real Madrid team looking to usher in a new era of dominance following the long-awaited capture of La Decima.

Physicality, technique, personality—Paul Pogba has it all, and Real Madrid's bosses should make him the focal point of their transfer plans this summer. 

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