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Paul Pogba – the ultimate wasted talent

Paul Pogba

The Frenchman could have been an all-time great but made one bad decision after another, culminating in a failed drugs test

Paul Pogba is a perfect case in point. He was once the most expensive player on the planet. He should have become its best too. Italy icon Gianluigi Buffon said he used to leave Juventus’ players “open-mouthed” with his mix of imposing physique and outrageous technique, while the great Ronaldinho tipped Pogba to win the Ballon d’Or.

So, when the Frenchman rejoined Manchester United in 2016, ‘The Theatre of Dreams’ offered him the opportunity to realise his – and yet Pogba now looks finished at the very highest level, a victim of his own dreadful decision-making.

Indeed, after seeing his career derailed by injuries and ill-discipline, it’s unlikely he’ll ever get back on track after being hit with a four-year ban for failing an anti-doping test.

Pogba’s time at the top is over

The overriding emotion surrounding Thursday’s news of Pogba’s suspension is sadness.

One of the game’s most gifted players may never play top-flight football again – and even if he does, he will never perform anything close to the level he achieved during his early years at Juventus or during his time with the France national team.

However, there is no getting away from the fact that in Turin right now there is an unmistakable air of relief.

Because it was clear even before the news broke of Pogba’s failed drugs test that his best days were behind him, his colossal salary having long since become an albatross around the neck of an already cash-strapped club.