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Not just a surname: Analysing Florentin Pogba's transfer to ATK Mohun Bagan

Defender Florentin Pogba has joined ATK Mohun Bagan from Ligue 2 club FC Sochaux-Montbeliard. Here's looking at what the Guinean can bring to the ISL.

Not just a surname: Analysing Florentin Pogbas transfer to ATK Mohun Bagan

Florentin Pogba's stats over the past few seasons shows he could be a top player in the ISL


Triyasha Chatterjee

Updated: 2022-06-27T18:18:17+05:30

The acquisition of a certain Pogba by ATK Mohun Bagan has probably been the biggest flutter in the current ISL transfer window, but is the 31-year-old defender worth the hype?

Florentin Pogba, the 31-year-old elder brother of former Manchester United star Paul Pogba, joined the Indian club from Ligue 2 club FC Sochaux-Montbeliard, the French club announced late on Friday. "I wanted a new challenge...I'm really happy and proud to be part of ATK Mohun Bagan, one of the biggest clubs in the country," the defender told the ISL website on Sunday.

There have been some media reports that Florentin Pogba's transfer is more of a gimmick. The Statesman said the move is a 'survival strategy' for the club, and that the ISL may soon be flooded with others bearing the surnames of international stars such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski.

However, a look at Florentin Pogba's records show he is a good signing by the league's standards.

Past records

Florentin and his twin brother Mathias (a forward) represent Guinea internationally, as opposed to Paul, who won the World Cup with France in 2018. Florentin has played 30 times for the West African nation since 2010.

The 31-year-old had a stint of six years with French side St. Etienne along with a season on loan at then-Ligue 2 side Sedan, before joining Sochaux. In 2010, he began his professional career at Sedan. He joined Turkish club Gençlerbirligi S.K. in 2018, where he was involved in a brawl with his teammates after walking out of a Turkish Super Lig defeat to Antalyaspor.

He then spent a season with Atlanta United of Major League Soccer. With them, he won the US Open Cup and the Campeones Cup, his first two major trophies in his professional career. He returned to France, where he spent two seasons with Sochaux, making 65 appearances. Even with a year on his contract left with them, Pogba joined ATKMB after leaving Sochaux in the summer.

ATKMB's transfers

Pogba is the Mariners' second foreign centre-back signing, following Brendan Hamill. The main reason for this is that they spent the majority of last season with only one natural center-back (Tiri). Now that the Spaniard is out, Juan Ferrando has made certain that he has centre-backs who understand their roles completely.

Pogba, who can play at left back, is expected to play centrally for ATKMB. He brings a wealth of top-tier experience, having spent many years in the French Ligue 1. He also exudes confidence, which means he'll inspire those around him to be more daring on the field. The 31-year-old should make a significant contribution to ATKMB's defensive record improving.

He'll bring more calm to the defence with his strong athletic ability and clever game-reading ability. Pogba's time in the MLS, where he helped Atlanta United finish third, demonstrates his adaptability to different cultures.

Playing style

Florentin is a versatile defender who is most at ease as a center-back. He is strong, commanding, and enjoys playing the ball out of the backline.

Screenshot: Soccerment

Pogba's defensive style is alert and aggressive. He enjoys making crucial interceptions, jumping into challenges, and constantly harassing strikers. He is very good at winning key duels, both on the ground and in the air.

Florentin enjoys having a ball at his feet as well. He has a habit of marching deep into the opposing half and dribbling past players. Pogba, who can move up and down the pitch, can also play as a left-back if necessary.

Screenshot: Soccerment

The distribution of the 31-year-old is both varied and accurate. He enjoys launching long balls up the field to assist his attackers. He can even take set-pieces and has a great delivery into the box.

Pogba has risen through his performances as a journeyman, and while he has not been as good as his brother Paul, Florentin has been an absolute rock at the back.

His recent statistics indicate that he outperforms the average center-back in terms of physicality, clearances, and vision. Pogba made 34 important interceptions, 33 clean tackles, and 32 important blocks while playing approximately 2375 minutes last season and maintaining an 83.3 percent passing accuracy.

Screenshot: Soccerment

Pogba has also made significant contributions offensively. He attempted 13 shots, but only three were successfully on target, yielding a 23 percent success rate. The capable defender also created nine crucial opportunities for his team.

The Frenchman should be at ease against the ISL forwards, as he possesses the necessary pace and power. However, the 31-year-old is confident enough with the ball to flourish in Juan Ferrando's system.

Florentin enjoys taking the ball forward and assisting in the play out of the back. He has a very long passing range. Pogba can effectively fill Tiri's role of controlling the ball from defence to attack. He'll also be a potential danger in set-pieces and score some goals for ATKMB.

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