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Ex-player’s time at Manchester United was a “mistake”, claims BBC pundit



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BBC Sports pundit Garth Crooks has labelled Paul Pogba’s time at United a “mistake” following the Frenchman’s four-year doping ban from football.

Pogba, 30, was banned from footballing activities last week following a positive drug test result for testosterone. The former United man has not played for his current club Juventus since September as he was provisionally suspended, but the ban is now fully in place.

Since leaving Old Trafford in 2022, the pragmatic midfielder has struggled to return to the world-class form that made his name renowned. Inconsistency has plagued his second spells at both the Old Lady and the Red Devils but his impact on both clubs is unparalleled as records that Pogba once held are just recently being broken.

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Following the announcement of the drugs ban many have looked back upon Pogba’s career as one of wasted potential, but according to Garth Crooks the only blot on the Frenchman’s CV is his time at United.

“The headline ‘The wasted talent’, which referred to the four-year suspension imposed this week on Juventus and former Manchester United player Paul Pogba for doping offences, made me chuckle,” Crooks wrote for BBC Sport.

The 65-year-old continues, “He certainly is an enigma; a complicated and inconsistent player without doubt, but no right-minded football person could ever argue that his talent has been wasted, he won four Italian Serie A titles and a World Cup for goodness sake. There can only be a handful of players anywhere in the world with that sort of record.”

“Pogba’s mistake was returning to Manchester United for a staggering £89m, and not just failing to win the Premier League, but not even coming close.

“That is why the France superstar will never acquire the legendary status afforded by United fans to the likes of Bryan Robson, Roy Keane or David Beckham, none of whom had Pogba’s gifts or won the World Cup.”

Now Crooks might be correct that Pogba won’t be remembered in the same bracket as the aforementioned legends for their footballing impact, however, the 30-year-old have moments where he set the pitch alight like is immense shift against city at the Etihad in 2018 that will live long in the memories of many.

Although he might not have lived up to the expectations during his time at United, Paul Pogba’s absence from the pitch for any club means that football has become a bit more boring for the next four years.