Maybe, at the moment, Paul Pogba is still the fourth option for Juventus to start in their midfield trio, and only got the full 90 minutes in their most recent win over Sampdoria because Claudio Marchisio was injured. It doesn’t really matter, when his future seems so bright, and he’s making the most of every opportunity he gets.
Unlike the 4-0 win over Lazio in the Italian Super Cup, Pogba didn’t score. He simply did what he needed to do as Juventus opened the Serie A 2013-2014 season with a 1-0 win in Sampdoria, courtesy of Carlos Tevez scoring his second goal in two matches for his new team.
Pogba was the one who set up Tevez for that goal, although most of the work was done beforehand by Arturo Vidal. The young Frenchman is doing well regardless of the position in the midfield Antonio Conte is giving him, and beyond the goals, long range shooting and sparks of creativity, he’s simply doing an excellent job in following the coach’s orders.
It’s not just the physicality of Pogba that makes him so useful in these type of matches, again an opponent like Sampdoria, who gave Juventus so many problems last season, beating them twice. His ability to make the right decisions under pressure, and more clearly retain the ball or give out the right pass when a player or two are coming at him is extremely impressive.
For now, Marchisio is probably the favorite to win the position next to Vidal and Pirlo, but Pogba is making it very difficult for Conte to keep him out of the lineup. Maybe consistency wasn’t his strongest suit last season, but a strong start to the year is certainly changing rotational positions and charts as we speak, and when Marchisio is 100% fit again, Pogba might no longer be easy to push out of the first XI.