Manchester United have announced that Paul Pogba will be leaving the club at the end of June when his contract will have expired.
Pogba has enjoyed a long association with United, having joined the club’s Academy from Le Havre at the age of just 16.
Pogba quickly progressed through the ranks, first impressing in the Under-18s and then swiftly moving upwards to the Reserves.
He first drew widespread attention as part of the Youth Cup side that achieved the club’s unprecedented 10th success in 2011, playing in both legs of that year’s final against Sheffield United.
The following season, he was granted a first-team debut under Sir Alex Ferguson, in a 3-0 League Cup win away at Leeds United.
But in the summer of 2012, due to strong competition for places at Old Trafford, Pogba joined Italian giants Juventus.
He quickly became a success in Piedmont, helping La Vecchia Signora lift four consecutive Serie A titles and a couple of Coppa Italias.
However, in 2016, he made the emotional decision to return to Old Trafford, in a bid to continue the nascent United career he had begun in that breakthrough season of 2011/12.
He was immediately installed within the heart of Jose Mourinho’s new-look midfield, and his first campaign back in M16 was a strong success.
After a sublime ‘second’ debut against Southampton, where he wowed the crowd with his all-round midfield mastery, Pogba started two cup finals that would both result in the Reds lifting silverware.
First he starred in the 2017 League Cup final against Southampton, which resulted in a 3-2 win thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s dramatic late winner. The Swede scored twice and, at full-time, Mourinho singled out both Zlatan and Paul as United’s outstanding players.
United moved on to the UEFA Europa League final in Solna, Stockholm a few months later, and it was Pogba who opened the scoring against Ajax, kickstarting a poignant 2-0 victory, just days after the tragic Manchester Arena bombing.
The subsequent 2017/18 season brought a promising second-placed finish, and arguably Paul’s most admired performance in a red shirt – in the chaotic and memorable Manchester derby of April 2018.
Crosstown rivals City headed into the match at the Etihad knowing that a victory would hand them the title, and with United forced to stand by and watch the crowing celebrations that would inevitably follow.
We found ourselves 2-0 down at half-time, with the Blues rampant. A torturous second half seemed imminent, but Pogba scored twice in quick succession to level the scores and silence the City crowd. Chris Smalling soon put United in front, completing one of the most remarkable turnarounds in derby history.
Also, Pogba, in a tweet confirmed his exit from United.
“I feel privileged to have played for this club. Many beautiful moments and memories but most importantly an unconditional support from the fans. Thank you,” he said.