In what was perhaps the most significant and headline-grabbing story of the summer transfer window, Juventus sold Paul Pogba. According to Beppe Marotta, the midfielder wanted to depart.
Speaking to JTV, the Juve decision maker said, “We always said we never wanted to sell Pogba, as he was an important figure for the club, the Coach and the fans. He wanted a change of scenery and to experience a different situation, so faced with that we had to enter into negotiations and try to make him happy.”
The Italian giants sold the French midfielder to English club Manchester United for a world-record fee. It marked the end of an extremely successful stint in Turin for the 23-year-old.
While with the Bianconeri, Pogba won four Serie A titles as well as a pair of Coppa Italia crowns and two Supercoppa Italiana. The Frenchman also claimed runners up medals in the UEFA Champions League and the Supercoppa Italiana.
Pogba enjoyed arguably his best personal season in his final go-around in Turin. The midfield ace registered eight goals and 12 assists in domestic play. He also chipped in with a goal and two assists in eight Champions League appearances.
The 23-year-old moves on to Manchester, where he’ll link up with Jose Mourinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney and company.
Pogba’s sale has, in part, helped Marotta reload as Juve seek European glory.
The Old Lady has had an excellent summer transfer window. Marotta signed Miralem Pjanic and Gonzalo Higuain from Serie A rivals Roma and Napoli respectively. The duo will bolster the midfield and attacking units respectively.
What’s more, Juve also added young Croation forward Marko Pjaca while strengthening what was already arguably Europe’s best defensive unit.
Joining the likes of Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli are three new defensive signings. Center back Medhi Benatia will provide excellent cover, while Dani Alves offers a different look out wide. Juan Cuadrado, who rejoined the Bianconeri from Chelsea, can also help out in defense.
In terms of replacing the Frenchman’s in the midfield, coach Max Allegri and Juventus will turn to the newly-signed Pjanic, as well as a number of incumbent options.
Over the long term, the ideal starting trio in the middle of the park would be Pjanic, Sami Khedira and Claudio Marchisio. However, with the Italian international sidelined due to injury, Allegri can also start Mario Lemina, Kwadwo Asamoah, Hernanes or Stefano Sturaro.