The world-record deal that took Paul Pogba to Manchester United was the transfer story of the summer and the finances involved mean mammoth expectations for the midfielder to be a success on his return to Old Trafford.
With the Frenchman’s second stint at the club just five games old, however, the positive impacts of the deal are already being felt hundreds of miles away in Serie A.
Danny Murphy: “Pogba has many strengths but he is not a ball player. He’s better when he’s running on to things.” pic.twitter.com/19MAudD4qf
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) September 19, 2016
Juventus, Pogba’s previous employers, had a busy summer in the transfer market, investing heavily in their squad with the funds from the sale of their star man.
The Turin side have dominated the Italian top flight for the last five years and took significant steps to make sure that would continue by shelling out the bulk of the fee received for Pogba, £75 million, to effectively secure their closest challenger’s best player.
The Old Lady’s decision to meet the full release fee for Gonzalo Higuain meant fellow Italian side Napoli were in reality, the main earners from the Pogba transfer.
Forza Napoli ! pic.twitter.com/W27wwTnJKv
— Arkadiusz Milik (@arekmilik9) August 4, 2016
It is not just the huge financial windfall that means Napoli can be so satisfied – the man they chose to replace Higuain has started so well it’s fair to say they are not missing him at all.
Polish forward Arkadiusz Milik has six goals in as many games. Four fixtures down in Serie A and his new side sit top of the table.
For a number of years Higuain was the talisman of the San Paolo team but early signs suggest that his 22-year-old replacement can step into his boots for what seems like a comparative bargain at £30 million.
It will be a huge task for Maurizio Sarri and his Naples-based outfit to oust Juventus and claim a Scudetto but it seems at least for now, that goals will not be a problem.
While Manchester United and Pogba struggle to find their rhythm, the knock-on effects of the deal are making headlines elsewhere in Europe.