Sky Sports pundits and former players Micah Richards and Graeme Souness had a heated debate over Paul Pogba and Harry Kane.
Sky Sports was seeking the opinions of the two pundits after the last match of the Premier League opening weekend, which saw Tottenham Hotspur beat Manchester City 1-0 at home. The subject of Paul Pogba’s future and his agent saying he wanted to leave United came up, and it started a heated debate between Richards and Souness.
Richards praised Pogba for his phenomenal performance against Leeds this week, where he supplied four assists in a 5-1 thrashing. He said he felt Pogba, despite speculations, focused on talking on the pitch. He compared the situation to that of Harry Kane, who was left out of the squad that faced City.
Many speculate it has something to do with his tell-all interview with Gary Neville, wherein he outright said he wanted to leave the club. The elephant in the room was obviously the fact that City are heavily linked to Kane, and as a result, he may have been left out.
“His (Pogba’s) agent might have done the talking, but he’s not done anything. He’s just gone out there and tried to do the best he could – and Kane the same, that’s what players want to do,” Richards said.
Souness interrupted Richards, saying, “’Do you think the agent speaks without the permission of the player? Do you think the agent just talks out nonsense? Not a chance, not a chance. He’s echoing the thoughts of the player.”
Richards refused to back down, saying, “I’m only mentioning it because it’s similar to the Kane situation. Kane’s not turned up for training, and we’re calling him a saint. Pogba’s never said he wants to leave, but he’s getting abuse! What’s the difference?”
The panel immediately moved on from the topic, but not before Richards added, “We are meant to be neutrals!” a clear dig at Souness’ hatred for Pogba.
The debate was certainly food for thought and an interesting one. It was also a question mark on the perception of two footballers in the same situation. The difference, as Richards pointed out, is the fact that the Englishman in Kane is not being hated. However, agent or not, Paul Pogba is.
Kane may yet play the second league fixture for Spurs. However, City continue to be liked with him, and the crusade between player and club is still very much on.