Amongst all the theories about dodgy agents, inflated wage demands, broken promises and he-was-rubbish-anyways, most Manchester United fans can now admit: letting Paul Pogba go was a disastrous blunder, plain and simple. The Frenchman has forced himself into a midfield possessing three talents in Claudio Marchisio, Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo who would walk into the majority of sides in the world, let alone United's flimsy core, and looked very good while doing it.
Indeed, it was a slight surprise not to see Pogba start the first leg in Munich, and Antonio Conte's reaction as he attempted to salvage the game - replacing Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella with Mirko Vucinic and Sebastian Giovinco - was woefully inadequate, a simple change in personnel rather than style or shape that addressed precisely none of the problems Juventus had on the night. It was the sort of substitution you'd expect Conte to make when drawing 0-0 at home with Pescara, not getting outplayed away from home in a Champions League tie.
Pogba did get his time on the pitch in the end, but not until the 75th minute when it was too little, too late. Tonight, however, Arturo Vidal's suspension means that a start is highly likely for the youngster. He may well have had a good season, and scored some excellent goals, but he always promised to be much more - a dynamic, complete midfielder who possessed the technique and imagination to settle tight games at the highest level.
Today, he will have the opportunity to do precisely that. Our Juventus blog, Black, White, and Read All Over, points out Pogba' role in replacing Arturo Vidal:
His role will be different than the one he had against Pescara over the weekend with Pirlo returning to the lineup, but his importance remains the same. He'll certainly have to do more defensive work than he did on Saturday - even though that's pretty much expected. Still, this is a game where a player like Pogba can make his mark on the biggest of stages.
It's that different role that could see Pogba emerge as a potential truly world-class talent and capitalise on his remarkable ascendancy. Although Juventus need to attack, the lack of an away goal means they can't afford for the game to be too open either - they have to remain in control. If Pogba can help them do that, while remaining his usual goal threat, he can take his game to the next level.