Manchester United fans were left a little deflated when they discovered just a few days before the new campaign that Paul Pogba would be sidelined for the game against Bournemouth following a suspension in Italy at the back end of last season.
Having spent the entire summer on tenter hooks about whether the move for Pogba would be successful, the excitement was dampened momentarily as the Manchester United fans were forced to show yet more patience with their new, world record signing.
But, in his Thursday press conference ahead of the Southampton game, Jose Mourinho uttered the words that every football fan wants to hear – except perhaps those of a Southampton persuasion.
When asked if Pogba would be ready to turn out for Manchester United against The Saints, he said:
“Paul Pogba has been here more than a week. He has been here 10/11 days, he knows the club so the adaptation really easy.
“He knows everybody so no time is needed to adapt. Yes, he is ready to play. 90 minutes? I don’t believe. Super performance? I don’t believe. But he can play.”
Pogba signed a week last Tuesday and there is no way that even an athlete of this quality can be fully ready after a month off in the summer.
But we also believe that Jose was simply protecting the player and managing expectations by saying that he wasn’t expecting a super performance.
Because, despite what was seen as a quiet EURO 2016 Pogba still showed enough class to justify Manchester United’s interest. He was certainly one of the better players in a strangely muted team whose system never seemed right for the players available.
Pogba will of course tire early but we are fully expecting an exciting performance from the most expensive player in the world on his Manchester United debut.