How belated replacements Kante, Xhaka and Pogba could usher in new era of dominance

John Nash, Robin Williams, Christopher Wallace: genius often comes with a flipside. In football, the pitfalls tend not to be so drastic, but they're there all the same. It’s no stretch to use the G-word to describe Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira and Claude Makelele. They were sublime for a time, but the price of their genius was the impossibility of replacing it. At Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, the past decade has told similar tales.

All three players arrived to usher their clubs into eras of unprecedented dominance: Keane turned one-time title winners into serial champions, Vieira and Makelele transformed also-rans into winning machines. In United's 13 years with Keane, they helped themselves to 12 major trophies; Chelsea won five in Makelele's four full seasons in London, while Arsenal and Vieira earned seven in nine years. Together, the three midfielders forged the modern era’s status quo.

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