Premier League

Pobga not in his best form, admits Deschamps

The France midfielder's difficult period at Old Trafford has taken a psychological toll on him, according to his international boss

 
4:00am on Sunday 15th November 2020
By
Robin Bairner

Manchester United star Paul Pogba is suffering “mentally” because of his troubles at the club, France head coach Didier Deschamps says.

Pogba was a key member of the team that Deschamps guided to the World Cup in 2018 but has failed to show such form for his club side.

Indeed, Pogba has toiled for United since they made him the world’s most expensive player in 2016. This has been particularly highlighted in the last 18 months, when he has struggled with injury and illness.

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A regular target for the critics, Pogba has been unable to ignore such problems, Deschamps has explained.

“It’s hard to remember to be positive,” Deschamps told the media on Friday. “Obviously, he’s not in one of his better periods.

“Like all players who have a club situation that is not positive, they are also impacted mentally. I know him well enough and it can happen at some points.”

Pogba benched by France?

Pogba also came under fire for a poor display in France’s 2-0 loss to Finland in midweek and Deschamps has hinted that he will be benched for Saturday’s crunch Nations League tussle with Portugal.

“He’s not in his best form, of course. I knew that before the game,” Deschamps said. “This match was meant to give him some rhythm. He knew that he would only play for an hour.

“Periods like this can happen. He has the knowledge of the highest level, the pride and the spirit to be able to answer his critics.

“After that, I have decisions to make on all the elements compared to the other players.”

Deschamps will definitely be without Kylian Mbappe, who failed to take part in the final training session, throwing doubt on the Paris Saint-Germain star’s ability to play against Sweden on Tuesday.

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