Paul Pogba is the uncertainty of Juventus
The Frenchman won't even be there tonight, for the second leg of the Europa League in Freiburg. The history of his season is the mirror of the black and white one. His return to the field is awaited, just as sentences and appeals are expected. In the meantime we navigate by sight
And to think that to get to Turin, he gave up on Paris Saint-Germain and a few million. According to some reconstructions he could have even gone to Real Madrid. Instead, last summer he chose Turin, a choice of the heart, it was supposed to be the cornerstone of the new course. In short, it had to be Juventus Paul Pogba: a man of image and of substance, international reach, already world champion, that midfielder that the black and whites have been missing since the days of Paul Pogba - of the big boy who arrived very young from Manchester, that Pobga.
Bad luck got in the way, of course. And perhaps not only that. So much so that at a certain point in the season the question was no longer: “When is he back on the field?”. Rather: "Are we sure he's coming back?". So Juventus actually became a bit of Pogba's Juve. But not in the sense that we expected, of course. Paradoxically, the French midfielder has become its symbol: of what doesn't work, of what hasn't Of the uncertainty that accompanies Juventus events, on and off the pitch.
The Frenchman won't even be there tonight, for the second leg of the Europa League in Freiburg, where Massimiliano Allegri's team will try to defend the narrow advantage gained at the Allianz stadium. Out again due to injury: a problem with his adductors and 20-30 stops. Perhaps. Maybe. Because since the beginning of the season Pogba has been chasing recovery times, with his return to the green grass perpetually delayed. Complications upon complications.
“Sorry, I have no head”, said the (ex?) champion to the fans who asked him for an autograph upon leaving J-medical a few days ago, after his last diagnosis. The disappointment for a new injury and the sad, almost bewildered air were too great. A bit the same painted on the faces of the black and whites after a defeat. Even when the negative result comes in the middle of a good period, even when it comes from a winning strand. Just a nothing and it's all to be done again.
It applies to the injured luxury, it applies to the Juventus club forced to pursue an appeal – the one on the 15-point penalty linked to the capital gains case – and to wait for a sentence, the next one, relating to the salary maneuver to understand the state of the art . It may also be for this reason that Allegri wanted to underline how Juventus "is second" in the championship. The points obtained say so, but the standings deny it.
The coach is looking for fixed points, essential for a season finale in which the Turin team, between the Italian Cup and the Europa League, can still have its say. Those firm points that should have been Pogba's feet and vision of the game and that he instead had to look for in those certainly talented, but still a little immature youngsters, who are Fabio Miretti And Nicolò Fagioli. Or in that Adrien Rabiot who little by little - and probably with a little delay - made his way through the criticisms, taking Juve, to the tune of performances and even goals. However, the former PSG is about to expire: it seems that he is fine in Turin but the renewal is not on the agenda for the moment. “We will talk about it at the end of the season,” he said. It will depend a lot, if not all, on what will become of Juventus. If he will play in Europe next season and which cup. Reasoning on which Angel Di Maria also seems to be racking his brains.
There it is again, the uncertainty. Which, on closer inspection, is the same one with which Pogba's first injury was managed, the one to the knee during summer training. Conservative therapy had been chosen, to avoid the operation and play the World Cup in Qatar. It ended up with the player under the knife a few months later, no Doha and inevitably longer recovery times. It was the omen of what was to come, on and off the pitch. Since then, the midfielder has featured for 35 minutes in total, coming on as substitutes against Turin and Roma.
At Juve they are waiting for him, they will still be waiting for him, despite the fact that there has been a certain impatience. Just as justice decisions are awaited, which could revive or precipitate any residual perspective. Meanwhile she "counts the field", to use a concept dear to Allegri. That is: in the meantime, you navigate by sight.