Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has started this Premier League season on a high. The 28-year-old Frenchman has been inconsistent since his signing from Juventus in 2016. But this season Pogba has already provided 5 assists and has dominated the midfield for Manchester United.
Looking at the first 3 matches one can clearly see that how much he has improved his passing this season and has bossed the midfield. Now let’s take a look at how Pogba has passed the ball this season – an area which has labelled him as the best United player so far.
When looking at the viz above, the longer the bar, the better. You can see the league average in the middle – and this represents where Pogba sits in the league. For example, he is in the 30th percentile for accurate pass % and the 90th percentile for through passes per 90 minutes.
Pogba is the highest Premier League assist provider this season. He has already provided 5 assists and 4 of them were against Leeds United in the opening game week. In the first 2 matches, he played in an advanced role and on the left side of midfield.
Pogba averages nearly 50 passes per game with an accuracy of 80.26%. His passing accuracy is pretty low than expected but he always looks to create chances whenever the ball is at his feet. His assist rate of 1.66 per game is the highest in the division. When it comes to balls into the final third, Pogba nearly averages 11 passes per game. Playing long passes has been a part of Pogba’s plan and Frenchman averages almost 9 long passes per game and this is the highest in the league. Through balls have also been effective and Pogba averages 2 balls per match. Pogba has been at the top in almost every department this season so far.
Pogba has made 19 passes to Wan-Bissaka and this is the highest number of passes to any other United player – although these passes were simple and didn’t carry any threat. The Pogba and Bruno combination is the most threatening for the opposition. Pogba passes to Bruno created XT of 0.276 and two passes resulted in a goal. He also made 12 passes to forward player Greenwood, who converted 2 goals out of these passes. His passes to the new signing Sancho has created XT of 0.208.
Now looking at the pass map, we can figure out that Pogba has passed to each and every corner of the pitch. He has passed the ball on the wings and most of the balls delivered into the box are from a deeper position. His most threatening passes are usually towards the centre of the goal. One of his crosses from the left side even resulted in a goal in the first match. He has been good in delivering through balls and these have been effective resulting in goals.
In the match against Leeds, 5 balls were delivered inside the opposition box followed by 2 balls against Southampton and 4 against Wolves from a much deeper role. Pogba drifted more towards the left side and looking at his position we can figure out that he was not going towards the centre and was sticking to his original position. In the last match, his positioning and passes were towards each and every side of the field, but mostly towards the right side.
Pogba has been the X-factor so far for United this season. With Ronaldo coming into the squad and Sancho starting to settle in, it could mean that Pogba will be playing from a deeper position again this season. His passing abilities could lead Manchester United to glory.