Serie A English

“I feel at home”, enthuses Paul Pogba on ‘dream’ Juventus return    

Seemingly a lot more resourceful off the pitch than he’s been on it the last few seasons, Paul Pogba had no qualms attributing his highly questionable form to injuries, too many managerial changes and, of course, being played out of position – which all contributed to him not producing his best form at Manchester United.

The 29-year-old also cheerily chirped that he has returned ‘home’ after completing a move back to Juventus – although in all honesty, one can’t help but wonder what ‘home’ truly means in the case of someone who seems to have made a habit of returning to the same roost after the previous one that he had just left was again somehow unable to serve his grand purposes. He also said – hopefully not out of a gesture of doubtful magnanimity – that spending the last six years at Old Trafford was not a mistake.

This time around Pogba has signed a four-year contract with Juventus, joining on a free transfer. Suffice it to say he swapped the Turin landscape for the Manchester climes back in 2016 for what was then a world record transfer fee of £89 million.

“It was the right choice to come back,” he said, oozing the signature Pogba charm that had become his social media trademark at a press conference to mark the deal on Wednesday.

“I feel at home here, definitely. I’m very happy to be back, it was more than a dream for me.”

Non-Pogba fans would only be too eager to point out that he failed miserably to win the Premier League at Old Trafford and his second stint at the club was largely a waste of the club’s resources as his performance was on the whole underwhelming, to say the least.

When asked what went wrong at United, he replied: “Well you know, when you play in a team and the coach changes every year it is quite difficult to adapt.

“It’s difficult to cope with that and I had some injuries, these probably influenced my mentality and the fact I couldn’t play and have the same rhythm as before when I played 90 minutes every game.

“There were different factors; coach, teams, the position on the pitch, all these contributed to block me a little bit in my performance. But now I’ve left it’s another Paul, another Pogba. I truly hope I won’t get injured again, I feel good, I’ll play in my position and hopefully do better than in the last few years.”

He added with a distinctive touch of diplomacy: “I’m very happy with the years I spent in Manchester. I grew a lot, I became a man there, I learned a lot. It was not a mistake, I was very happy there.”

Pogba was understandably all smiles at his unveiling and repeatedly spoke of his confidence un having made the right move in returning to Turin.

Juventus haven’t won the Scudetto for the past two years, having won the previous nine Serie A titles in a row prior to that.

Pogba has been reunited with former boss Massimiliano Allegri and he hopes the pair can enjoy success together again. Of course he would.

“My heart made a choice, it has chosen Juventus,” he added. “We belong in first position.”

Very familiar words …