Manchester United fans harbouring reservations over the £100m valuation their club is reportedly set to meet for Paul Pogba will have had their fears exacerbated by his performance in the European Championship final.
In a tournament where the Juventus superstar was subject to widespread criticism, Pogba was outshone by France counterpart Moussa Sissoko, currently employed by second-tier outfit Newcastle United, among others in the Euros showpiece.
For someone celebrated so vehemently around the world, the 23-year-old’s display as Les Bleus were beaten by Portugal was a far cry from that of a player about to be subject to a world record-breaking transfer.
But, obviously, it’s impossible to glean an in-depth understanding of ability on the back of one performance.
Pogba may have disappointed the hype believers in the final, but looking at the Euros on the whole, he can consider himself unfortunate to have missed out on team of the tournament recognition.
The four midfield spots in the best XI went to Welsh duo Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen, along with Toni Kroos of Germany and French schemer Dimitri Payet, who also bagged the award for finest player in the competition.
Of the quartet, Pogba made more successful passes than all bar Kroos, whose staggering effort of 593 beat the Juve star’s return by 200, while it was only the German who topped his tally for passes completed in the opposition half too, making 379 compared to 187.
Just Payet can claim to have had more touches of the ball in opposition penalty boxes and the West Ham United star is the solo member who made the team of Euro 2016 to have had more shots too.
However, Pogba ties with his countryman for number of efforts on target with seven, while he’s peerless among the celebrated foursome for shot accuracy, hitting the target with 43.8% of his attempts.
Kroos was the only player at the Euros to have more touches of the ball than the Man Utd target’s 634 too. As for passes received, the Real Madrid ace’s 586 is the solitary total that tops his 403.
Defensively, none of Kroos, Ramsey, Allen and Payet can claim to have won more headers or tackles than Pogba, who made ten of each. His 61 possession recoveries is a high among the group too, while his total of ten clearances is double that of his closest rival.
He may not have excelled at the Euros, but Juventus’ prized asset’s all-roundedness is illuminated through the figures he posted and with plenty of years left with which to improve, £100m is sure to prove a value for money purchase for United.