Fresh from scoring in the World Cup final and winning the coveted trophy with France, Paul Pogba (£8.0m) could be about to record his best ever season with Manchester United.
The midfielder may miss the first few weeks of the campaign but across the course of 2018/19 there is great potential for him to be an important Fantasy Premier League asset.
A thigh muscle injury between September and November restricted Pogba to just 27 appearances for the Red Devils last season, but he still managed to record his highest ever FPL score of 138 from six goals and 13 assists. No United player was the provider for more goals and only Romelu Lukaku (£11.0m) was involved in more than him.
We’ve had a look at some of the reasons why we expect Pogba to improve on that over the next 12 months, even if he will miss the first few weeks of the campaign through extended World Cup leave.
The arrival of Fred (£6.0m) at Old Trafford should allow Pogba more freedom to commit to attack this season. With the new signing potentially sat alongside Nemanja Matic (£5.0m) in holding midfield, Pogba will have less defensive responsibilities to concern himself with. Although it must be said that he particularly shone in a slightly deeper role for France next to N’Golo Kante (£5.0m) and Steven N’Zonzi in the World Cup final. At the same time, Jesse Lingard (£7.0m) earned Jose Mourinho’s favour playing as the central attacking midfielder in 2017/18 and Pogba may have to displace him if he hopes to play further up the pitch.
Pogba clearly has an eye for goal and should surpass his previous goal tally of six this season. Only six midfielders had more shots last season, despite him only playing 27 games. In fact, out of the Premier League’s most trigger happy midfielders in 2017/18, only Mohamed Salah (4.0) and Alexis Sánchez (2.83) averaged more shots per game than Pogba’s 2.81. The Frenchman even registered more shots per match than Lukaku’s 2.5, although the Belgian striker was more accurate. A large number of those efforts came from outside of opposing penalty areas but if Pogba does earn a more advanced role the percentage of those taken inside the box would likely increase.
IN THE MONEY
On the whole, Pogba offered better value than any of Manchester United’s regular starting attacking assets last season. His points-per-match (ppm) of 5.1 could not be beaten by anyone at Old Trafford. The more expensive Alexis Sánchez (£10.5m) came in at 4.9 ppm, Lukaku’s was 4.76 ppm while Lingard, while cheaper, had a points-per-match of 3.87. Even if Pogba retains his position in deeper midfield he could still prove better value across the season than Sánchez and Lukaku who are £2.5m and £3.0m dearer than him respectively.
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