Why Manchester United’s loss to Barcelona could be a blessing in disguise

Manchester United crashed out of the Champions League following an aggregate 4-0 loss to Barcelona over both legs of the quarterfinal.

The Red Devils lost 1-0 at the Theatre of Dreams last Wednesday before suffering a 3-0 annihilation at Camp Nou on Tuesday.

United’s only chance of playing in Europe’s elite competition next season is by finishing in the top four in the English Premier League, and with Liverpool and
Manchester City already set to finish in top two, they surely have their work cut out for them with Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Chelsea all jostling for the remaining two spots.

While the defeat in Spain was a brutal and cruel reminder of how short in squad depth and quality Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are, it might just end up being a blessing in disguise.

Real Madrid’s interest in French midfielder Paul Pogba is well-documented, and a summer exit could be on the cards for the United star.

However, Tuesday’s game at the Camp Nou – which Madrid would have used to run the rule over him – would have done little to convince his suitors.

Barcelona have been a constant threat to the club’s La Liga and Copa del Rey chances in the last decade, and Pogba did little to convince Los Blancos he has what it takes to shine against the Catalans.

A stellar display would surely have further endeared him to Madrid and the club’s faithful, but unfortunately for both player and club, and fortunately for United, that didn’t happen.

That sole performance could have done just enough to change the minds of the Spanish giants over a summer move for Pogba for now, and while it crushed United’s Champions League dream, it could indeed be a blessing in disguise, as holding on to their man for next season is paramount.

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