Arguably the best piece of individual skill of the Euros so far was Paul Pogba’s perfect diagonal pass to Lucas Hernandez in the build-up to the goal that helped France beat Germany.
Only a very good player would consider such a pass and only an even better one would pull it off.
And that’s the thing about Pogba. He is a seriously good player, both technically and in the way he sees pictures and opportunities.
Pogba played very well in that game and often does for France. He scored in the 2018 World Cup final in Moscow.
And all the while supporters of Manchester United must watch and wonder why he has never regularly had this impact for their team.
Pogba has been at United for almost five years. He joined after the last Euros, welcomed to the club by some grand social media extravagance that appeared to suggest the saviour had arrived.
The problem is that it hasn’t turned out that way. Pogba has had some decent games and a handful of stand-out moments but hasn’t managed to turn around the direction of the club in the way it was hoped. He has not become a player to build a team around.
Not all players can do that, however talented. Some players need to be playing in very good teams to be very good players. Pogba did that at Juventus — alongside Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo — and won some big trophies. In France he plays in a midfield with N’Golo Kante.
At United it’s Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic. Pogba has not managed to elevate the levels of those players by example and that has been the disappointing thing.
When I think of such matters I always think of players like Roy Keane and David Beckham. They played in some brilliant United teams but also some transitional sides that struggled. Even on the bad days, their individual standards of play rarely dropped. Keane and Beckham didn’t need to be surrounded by great players to look like great players.
Pogba is not in this category. He has had the chance to prove himself equal but has not managed it.
Now 28, he may well have a good Euros. He may come home as a winner.
If I were in charge of such things at Manchester United, I would look to cash in on any of that and sell him regardless. If he was going to be a truly great United player he would have done it by now.