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Manchester United, the Europa League, and League Cup winners of the 2016-17 season, were supposed to chase greater glory in Jose Mourinho’s second campaign at Old Trafford but have now been knocked out from the Champions League Round of 16 by La Liga underperformers Sevilla whereas they lost the Premier League title race months back having been outplayed by neighbours Manchester City.
They also witnessed a bizarre exit from League Cup following a defeat against Championship outfit Bristol City and winning the Emirates FA Cup remains the only hope of avoiding a barren campaign.
Mourinho has not held back his discontent about some of his star players who have underperformed and let him down. Paul Pogba has to be one of them as the gaffer has reportedly given up on the highly-rated Frenchman, plotting a surprise swoop for Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey.
The 27-year-old Wales international joined the Gunners almost a decade back and has now emerged as one of their top stars following a roller coaster career ride. Ramsey had an injury nightmare but came back stronger and has delivered some towering displays.
Although both of them feature in a central midfield role, Ramsey’s game is different to Paul Pogba as the latter likes to hold the ball in the middle of the park, tries to create space and find the forwards up front with long balls in most cases.
Ramsey, on the other hand, prefers to play one-twos and stride forward from deep down the midfield to operate in advanced areas. His playing traits fulfil Arsene Wenger’s philosophy of the passing game, swift movement and attacking football.
Mourinho, however, believes in result over the beauty of the game, thus United’s style of football seems tedious on most occasions. Pogba’s physicality has an edge but his lack of work ethics and unnecessary ball-holding often causes troubles to the Red Devils backline.
The £110,000-a-week Arsenal star might not offer a similar physical presence in midfield but he is intelligent enough to hide his limitations and use the technicality to link up in the attack – something the Portuguese needs now in order to make his midfield fluid. Statistically, the Gunners star is not far behind the French sensation and has surpassed Pogba in several departments.
The Welshman has played 1470 minutes of league football compared to Pogba’s 1558 but has netted 6 goals – 3 more than the Red Devils star. Pogba, however, has assisted 9 times and also has 2.7 shots per game compared to Ramsey’s 6 and 2.4. Pogba’s height has allowed him to dominate aerially and he has won more headers than the Gunners midfielder.
Ramsey, on the other hand, has a slightly better passing accuracy (85.8%) than the Frenchman (84.7%) and has also offered better defensive work rate so far this season. These two might not have too much difference numerically but the impact of Ramsey in Premier League is certainly way better than that of Pogba who is still struggling in his second season back in England.