After a season in which Paul Pogba made himself known to those following Juventus and getting himself a call up for the French national team, it’s time for the talented midfielder to take it up a notch and become a bigger part in the plans of the Italian champions as they hope to find themselves finding more success in the Champions League as well.
Pogba came on for Claudio Marchisio as Juventus struggled early on in the Italian Super Cup against a very solid, hard working and disciplined Lazio side, and found the net after the 23 minutes, which pretty much opened the floodgates, leading to a 4-0 win by Juventus, with Carlos Tevez, Chiellini and Lichtsteiner also finding themselves on the scoresheet.
Despite the incredible shooting power and creativity, Pogba’s greatest strength is his versatility. He has the ability to fill in for Marchisio, who usually plays a more off the ball role out of the midfield trio, being the player who is the first to join one of the two strikers through the middle.
But in a season that will give us Andrea Pirlo celebrating his 35th birthday at the end of it, Pogba’s ability to play the defensive midfielder as well or even instead of Arturo Vidal, which is possibly the hardest position to define, making a lot more than what people saw in him early on.
Pogba is essential to the Juventus plans of continuing to dominate the Serie A (winning two consecutive league titles) while making another step forward towards coming back to their previous standing in Europe and specifically the Champions League. They made their return to the competition last season for the first time since 2009-2010, finishing on top of a group that included Chelsea and Shakhtar Donetsk, beating Chelsea in the second round but losing to Bayern Munich without scoring a single goal in the quarterfinals.
Depth, obviously, wasn’t the only thing Juventus cared to improve this offseason. With a defense that has been the best in Italy for the last couple of years, taking care of their striker and creativity problems was the number one “fix-it” for the team over the summer. With Llorente and Tevez, they have their forwards. With Pogba getting more minutes, they might solve their other problem.