Name: Paul Pogba
Date of birth: 15 March 1993 (20 years old)
Place of birth: Lagny-sur-Marne, near Paris, France
Current club: Juventus
Former clubs: Le Havre (youth), Manchester United
International caps: 0
There are very few teenage sensations in European football at the moment, and Pogba is no longer one of them, having turned 20 at the weekend.
The rangy, skilful midfielder was poached from Le Havre by Manchester United in 2009, but only made seven first-team appearances – three in the Premier League – before letting his contract wind down last summer.
His move to Juventus drew angry responses from Sir Alex Ferguson and fans, who deemed it an act of treason to dare leave United on a Bosman, which seemed particularly ironic given the nature of his signing to the club.
It appears to have been an inspired move.
Unlike former United youth team-mate Ravel Morrison, who plays in a similar position and left for West Ham in similar contractual circumstances, there has been no hint of an unprofessional attitude either in training or on the pitch.
Indeed, Juventus and boss Antonio Conte are known for their reluctance to suffer fools at all, let alone gladly. That the youngster has managed 21 Serie A appearances and five goals in a central midfield that boasts Claudio Marchisio, Kwadwo Asamoah, Arturo Vidal and the great Andrea Pirlo is evidence enough of his quality and temperament.
You can hardly blame him for leaving – his physical and technical attributes are supreme, and it must have been of some annoyance that he was overlooked in a largely pedestrian United midfield that was reliant on ageing veterans Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.
“I didn't want to sign a contract as Ferguson didn't play me, even though there were no midfielders there,” Pogba told The Times recently. “He obviously thought I didn't deserve the contract I asked for and didn't put me in the team even though he had no midfield players, it was his choice.
“United were short of midfield players like me, but it was the manager's decision. I couldn't do anything about it.”
Well he could do something about it – leave, which he did.
So, as the song went, what’s he like?
Pogba stands at 6’3”, is quick, rangy and sharp in the tackle. Initially a defensive midfielder, he is starting to adopt a more advanced position, earlier in his career than Yaya Toure – who is the most similar current player.
Good aerial ability and an excellent first touch, aided by his ability to stretch out long legs and trap the ball from high, mean he could even play as a target man.
But his long passing and fantastic close control mean he can use his physical presence to dominate games in midfield, with a good awareness allowing him to make late runs into the box to showcase his goal-scoring ability.
He can also hit incredible long-range strikes, having scored twice from distance and made several goalkeepers work this season.
There is something of the Patrick Vieira combined with the showboating style of Mario Balotelli about Pogba, although his on-pitch confidence has not yet extended to full-blown arrogance.
The sky is the limit for this youngster – if he listens to the likes of Conte and avoids the trappings of success, he could become one of the most feared midfielders in the world.
As it stands he is already one of the brightest prospects in Europe – and while France have plenty of options in midfield, he should make his debut over the next week.
Scouting report – Paul Pogba
Aerial ability: 8/10
Value: £30 million