Patrice Evra Says Paul Pogba Tried to Leave United this Summer

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Ahead of today’s come from behind win at West Ham United, former Manchester United man Patrice Evra revealed that current Red Devils midfielder Paul Pogba tried to leave the club. It’s not shocking news, given all the transfer rumors that have surrounded him, but it’s still a significant development to hear this narrative from such a trusted source.

Evra, now a talking head with Sky Sports, is a good friend of his fellow Frenchman and also his former teammate at Juventus. Evra said today during a television punditry appearance that Pogba asked the United board to let him leave and move on.

Pogba has spent most of the season either battling fitness issues or coming off the bench, so this has been a brutal season to say the least. However, after looking awful in the first half today on the road at West Ham United, he opened the scoring for the Red Devils, and started yet another away game comeback.

Here’s what Evra said on TV, ahead of the game (transcript Manchester Evening News):

“First of all, he’s had a bad ankle injury. There was lots of negative talk with what he’s been saying during his period with the French national team, the fans didn’t appreciate it. But I think it’s normal he’s starting today with Fred and Bruno missing.

“I think Ole wants Pogba to prove himself so he can be on the team sheet all the time.”

“The position of Paul is really easy. He spoke to the board, he wanted to leave Man United to a certain point, they kept him, so it’s difficult to blame him because he’s been honest with the board.”

“Now he’s playing, he needs to respect the shirt, his team-mates, the manager and then he’ll have a great chance.”

“I can already feel that people just wait for Paul to fail to again criticise him. It’s been a problem because they didn’t deal with it at the beginning of the season, in truth.”

Well, Pogba didn’t fail today, so there wasn’t as much criticism as usual to go around today. However, it’s hard to argue with a lot of points that Evra made about his countryman and the situation surrounding him.

Pogba does need to show that he’s really playing for the shirt more often. And yes, the United board could have really done a much better job in handling this situation.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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