Trevor Francis, English football’s first £1million player, admits he would be surprised to see Paul Pogba break the £100m barrier – because he is not a striker.
Francis’ move from Birmingham to Nottingham Forest in 1979 was the first seven-figure transfer in this country, with Pogba’s mooted switch from Juventus to Manchester United set to take the record fee into uncharted territory again.
Francis is not surprised to see a player valued at one hundred times his fee this summer but expected it to be one of the game’s most prolific forwards, not a central midfielder.
“Did I ever think I’d see £100million? Possibly the only two I thought could command that figure were Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi because people realise they are exceptional talents that will go down in the history of the game in amongst the top three or four best of all time,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek.
“I’m surprised £100m is going to be paid for a midfield player. I really thought if it was paid, it was going to be for a striker who could be a match-winner and probably provide you with 30 goals a season.
“Pogba is a very talented individual, 23 years of age, plenty of potential and he will get better. But he’s not a striker.”
Francis readily admits the amount of money he had cost Forest played on his mind in the immediate aftermath, and he hopes Pogba can rid of himself of similar hang-ups should he complete his return to Old Trafford.
“It put enormous pressure on me, being the first million-pound footballer, it was something I never anticipated,” he said.
“The early days I was trying to justify that figure, which was a mistake.
“I began to get better as I realised I had to play without that huge price tag hanging around my neck.
“So I just wish Pogba all the very, very best when it comes to Manchester United.”