While Paul Pogba hasn’t had an ideal transition to Manchester United after his world-record transfer from Juventus, United manager Jose Mourinho is confident the 23-year-old will prove worth the investment.
Mourinho said the continued inflation of transfer fees will work to Pogba’s benefit, per the Telegraph‘s Mike Whalley:
I am pretty sure that next summer some players with only half his quality probably will cost the same money or more so I am waiting for that moment to release him from the scrutiny. I think in a couple of years you will realise he was cheap but I have to admit that not many clubs have this vision of anticipation of what can happen in the near future. A few years ago £25 million was a phenomenal player. Today, £25 million is not even a player, it is a prospect of a player. Now, if you want to buy a good prospect, a good 20-year-old player who can be fantastic, you are paying as if the player is already a big player.
Mourinho isn’t necessarily far off the mark.
For eight years, Zinedine Zidane held the distinction of being the world’s most expensive player following his £46.2 million move from Juventus to Real Madrid in July 2001. In September 2015, Manchester United paid £36 million—with the possibility of the fee rising to £58 million—for the services of 19-year-old Anthony Martial, who had appeared in only career 52 Ligue 1 matches.
Chinese clubs are beginning to flex their financial muscle as well, and they have to pay over the odds in order to entice players to join a league where the standard of competition is well below that of Europe’s top competitions.
Few could’ve envisioned Oscar fetching a £60 million transfer fee, which is what Shanghai SIPG paid Chelsea to sign the Brazilian midfielder.
In an interview with Sky Sport Italia (h/t Goal), Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, claimed a Chinese club offered Madrid a €300 million transfer fee to bring Ronaldo aboard.
After a rough readjustment to the Premier League, Pogba has begun to find his footing in England following his return to Manchester United. While he still has a long way to go to justify the club’s outlay, he could still become a bit of a bargain over time should transfer fees maintain their current upward trend.