Fans of Juventus have been anticipating this day for a while. Finally making his season debut, Paul Pogba also made his return to the Italian club after leaving Manchester United in the summer on a free transfer. He was included in the final 20 minutes of Tuesday’s 4-2 victory over Torino by head coach Massimiliano Allegri.
After a thrilling match in which Torino’s Yann Karamoh scored the game’s first goal after one minute, Juve prevailed in the Derby della Mole. When Toni Sanabria scored again for the visitors later in the first half, the Bianconeri had previously equalized through Juan Cuadrado. Juventus scored once again through Danilo just before halftime to make it 2-2 in the first half. After Allegri decided to start Pogba and Federico Chiesa in the second half, the home team scored the game’s final two goals through Gleison Bremer and Adrien Rabiot.
Notwithstanding the 15-point deduction following the recent incident that resulted in the club’s board of directors resigning in November, the Italian giants are currently only ten points behind the top four. Juventus would have trailed Napoli by fifteen points in the standings if that deduction hadn’t occurred (they have filed an appeal against the ruling).
Nonetheless, the World Cup-winning midfielder’s comeback was the biggest news of the day and for the near future. The French great started his youth career with Manchester United but later decided to travel to Italy as a free agent to join Juve. Throughout his four years there, he played 178 matches, scored 34 goals, and contributed 40 assists while playing for Juve. He also won two Coppa Italia championships while winning four straight Serie A championships. In the summer of 2016, he returned to Manchester United, which had acquired him for a then-record transfer fee from an English team. He is aware of what Juve’s winning formula is.
Despite winning the UEFA Europa League under Jose Mourinho, his second stint at United wasn’t as successful as anticipated. The two had a strained relationship that frequently resulted in the midfielder being benched. Pogba achieved greater success while representing France, and in 2018 he was able to win the World Cup. The midfielder experienced significant injury issues after joining Juventus last summer, which caused him to miss the opening several months of the season. The former Manchester United midfielder decided to have surgery later in September after trying out conservative therapy against the club’s wishes, which resulted in him missing the 2022 World Cup.
When Pogba’s return appeared to be approaching at the start of the new year, Allegri declared in a news conference on January 28 that Pogba was finally available again and added him to his team for the Serie A match against Monza. The thrill, however, was short-lived when he injured his flexor during the warm-up, forcing him to miss another month of play.
Pogba is now truly back, which is excellent news for Allegri as he can rely on him for the remainder of the season. Juventus, which is currently 10 points off the pace set by the top four teams, has a chance to get back in the Champions League race because the Bianconeri will also play Freiburg in the round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League, which could serve as their second opportunity to advance to the continent’s premier tournament the following year.
The Coppa Italia semifinal matchup between the Bianconeri and Inter will take place later next month. The domestic cup champion will be eligible to participate in the upcoming Europa League season. Now that things are looking up for Juventus, Pogba’s comeback is just what they needed to keep their Champions League hopes alive.