Arsene Wenger must sign Paul Pogba in the summer
By SHAY AWOSIYAN
College Contributor Network
Arsene Wenger has once again failed to spend money during the January transfer window, but come July, the Arsenal manager has to move mountains to acquire Paul Pogba.
As it stands, Pogba is still a Juventus player and he'll most definitely remain with the club until the end of the current campaign, but his agent has indicated that he is open to other options.
"Paul renewed his contract in Italy. There is a five-year deal with Juventus and what June and July brings, we will see in June and July," Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola, told Sky Sports News.
"Let's say that I am aware of the interest that there is around Paul, obviously, and without naming them, everybody that knows a little bit about football knows that there are only eight clubs that can afford him. That's the eight clubs that will get into the scramble or the battle to have him."
At the moment, Arsenal might not be one of the eight clubs, but come summertime; the Gunners must be in the mix. Some might argue that Pogba is not needed at the Emirates because Arsenal's midfield depth chart is so deep, but they are wrong, or misinformed.
Attacking wise, Wenger has enough men to rival any midfield in the world, but the French manager does not have an intimidating box-to-box figure. On his best day -- and when he's not injured -- Jack Wilshere can comfortably excel into that role and Aaron Ramsey has also shown flashes of brilliance in that position, but those two are children compared to Pogba. At the age of 21, the French midfielder is already one of the best in his position. Pogba is not yet on par with Manchester City's Yaya Toure, but he his miles ahead of Wilshere.
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti witnessed Pogba's brilliance in 2014 and called him "a complete midfielder." It's not everyday that the coach of the best club team in the world takes some time out of his busy day to praise a player that isn't on his roster. Pogba's unique swagger and confidence sets him apart from the rest of the pack. Like most young talents he likes to dazzle the crowd with fancy footwork, but that won't stop him from making simple and wise decisions. His size allows him to be dominant in the air and his pace can make any defender look like a snail.
Wenger himself has showered his countryman with praise after watching him at the 2014 World Cup.
"Paul Pogba is a world-class player potentially and I think he has absolutely every quality that every footballer could dream to have," Wenger told beIN Sports.
"He has the power, the charisma, the technique –- he walks out onto the field and all eyes are on him -– and he has this incredible acceleration and pace.
"To see him at high speed during France's games was absolutely amazing and he is the fastest player in France. So you would think he could take it all the way.
"I think the only question-mark is whether he really wants it mentally. He will answer that question certainly in the coming years but potential-wise I think he is the best midfielder of tomorrow in the world."
So far this season, Pogba has shown that he is as astute mentally as any player in the world. He rarely lets opponents and their supporters get inside his head and he's mastered the art of keeping his composure for 90 minutes. In 24 games in all competitions this season, he has only garnered five yellow cards and hasn't been sent off.
Besides being an impact player, Pogba could be the player that carries a substantial amount of pressure off of Wenger's shoulders. The French tactician is under scrutiny after he revealed he had a chance to sign Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a host of soccer's top stars. Due to his public confession, he has lost some respect and continues to lose the support of Arsenal's most faithful advocates.
Acquiring Pogba would turn some of Wenger's noisiest critics into believers, once again. And Arsenal will finally get something they haven't had since Thierry Henry departed in 2007; a potential contender for the Ballon d'Or.
Shay Awosiyan is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism at the University of Oklahoma. He played soccer for 13 years and hopes to one day become a commentator. Follow him on Twitter: @THESHAY11