Paul Pogba arrived Manchester United late summer in a world-record transfer valued at £89million. He joined Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic among other new additions who made it to Jose Mourinho’s new team at Old Trafford.
Image: Paul Pogba
However, the Frenchman has been criticized for not springing surprises as the Red Devils went through humiliating defeats since the 2016/17 EPL season started.
France captain Hugo Lloris was quick to defend the midfielder, saying he believes Pogba has not yet fully recovered from his exertions at Euro 2016. The veteran goalkeeper said his teammate will surely hit his peak again.
“There are a lot of players who played in the Euros and experiencing physical difficulties at this moment,” the Tottenham goalie told reporters prior to his country’s World Cup qualifier against Netherlands on Monday.
“Their preparation was not ideal for the new season. Paul is one of them. And he has to take on a record transfer to Manchester United.
“There are lots of little things that have slowed him. But we all know he has many qualities and talent – that’s why we’re demanding of him. But things will go well for him with work.
“I can understand the high expectations around him.
“There are also [some expectations] from the dressing room and also from the staff and the coach.
“But France is a team and not only one player. We have to be complementary to get the best performance.
“Paul has everything to be a great player but we always ask him to back that up. He can show it in a big game tomorrow [Monday].”
Meanwhile, France coach Didier Deschamps allegedly criticised Pogba for his below par performance in Friday’s 4-1 win over Bulgaria in Paris.
Didier told the press prior to Monday’s game: “I didn’t speak to him (Pogba), I just said a few words to him before entering the changing rooms, ‘I have confidence in you.'”
“The match confirms what he is able to do. Pogba was much better in everything he did. He showed what he can do.
“We never doubted he could do it. We mustn’t forget Paul is relatively young and he can still progress.”
Pogba replied critics with a wonderful performance on Monday to prove his talents as the world’s most expensive player.
The Manchester United midfielder scored from 25 metres after 30 minutes to give France a lone goal victory over Netherlands.