Few footballers in the game have as much pressure on their shoulders as Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.
Frenchman Paul Pogba is a different story, as his national team manager Didier Deschamps explained. “When a player is unhappy at club level he obviously likes to play for France,” he said this week after beating United for the treatment of his star midfielder.
The 27-year-old seems to have a magnifying glass pressed against him every time he takes to the field for the Red Devils and after a chaotic saga at Old Trafford that has put his future in doubt – especially now after his The team under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lost their place in.
Paul Pogba faces an uncertain future at Manchester United after losing his place on the team
The midfielder retains hero status for the French team after winning the 2018 World Cup
Is it any surprise that heading out into international service feels like a holiday for United’s £ 89m man? Since Deschamp gave him his first international match in 2013, Pogba has really been “Mr France”. And 72 international matches later, he was practically always present for Les Bleus with an esteemed world championship.
Pogba only missed one game en route to conquering that famous crown in Russia in 2018 and proved hugely important the following year as well – starting his next nine games before being crippled by a tricky ankle problem – which forced him to missing a large part of it the 2019-20 season.
A look into the present and the man who was pointed out to bring United back to the glory days can barely afford to start the team and faces an uncertain future at Old Trafford.
The £ 89million star was under constant pressure to perform at Old Trafford and may be leaving soon
His most recent supporting role, in which he has played two of the last six games, sparked anger at Deschamps, who admitted the playmaker had “lost his rhythm”.
“I know Paul well and he knows the squad well,” he told the media. ‘He is in a situation with his club that he cannot look forward to in terms of either his playing time or his position.
‘He’s not at his best, he’s had a number of injuries and Covid-19 has negatively affected him as well. He has to rediscover his rhythm.
‘He did well in the games he was involved in last month and played consistently despite his lack of rhythm. Still, we can’t say he’s thriving at club level.
“There is no problem with me, but I also work hard to manage it.”
His France boss Didier Deschamps has remained loyal to him and sees him as one of his leaders
Deschamps also slammed United for Pogba treatment, admitting the player was “happy to play for France” given his current situation
Hard work indeed – no national team manager wants one of their best players to sit on the bench for their club – and Pogba’s series of unfortunate events has slightly changed the dynamic for him with France.
Eight months after his injury, he missed six European qualifiers. Just as he was finally about to make a comeback after Deschamps named him in his squad against Sweden and Croatia, he tested positive for coronavirus.
Eventually he returned to the game for three games in October – he had to make do with sub-appearances against Ukraine and Croatia – but played the full 90 against Portugal and praised his manager. “I have a good Paul,” he said.
He’s finally made his comeback for Les Bleus after being disqualified for months due to an injury
He played Portugal on the last international break after recovering from COVID-19
Deschamps has shown enormous loyalty to the former Juventus star, often defending him in dark times and hailing him as “one of the leaders” of the group after suggesting a 2-1 win over Croatia.
Unfortunately for Pogba he wasn’t the same figure for United. In just three games for France, he was able to show more quality throughout the season than in the Premier League – without a goal or support.
He has borne the brunt of criticism from fans and experts and will have gotten used to stinging words from Roy Keane and Graeme Souness. On the international stage he can lower his head and concentrate – even if rumors and speculations about his Zen place occasionally follow him.
He hasn’t had the same uplifting effect for United and is in the league without a goal or support
He had grown angry last month after reportedly pulling out of France on comments from President Emmanuel Macron. His anger highlighted his passion for the team and hinted at frustrations arising from his tense situation at United.
“I am horrified, angry, shocked and frustrated. Some “media” sources use me to make completely the wrong headlines on the sensible subject of current French events and take the French national team into the pot. “
While he started his career at Old Trafford, he simply didn’t have the same connection with the club as he did with France. After their World Cup victory, he called his team-mate “my family” and on the occasion bought diamond-set rings for every member of the squad.
‘It’s a small gesture after winning a World Cup with great players. I consider them my family. It’s a little present from me. ‚
He showed his passion for France last month after posting reports that he should retire
Describing his French teammates as his “family”, he bought them diamond-studded rings to commemorate their 2018 World Cup victory
“You can’t win the World Cup on your own. The players were there behind me. You supported me. There were some critics, but we were all together, united like family. ‚
There is currently no family feel for Pogba at United – which, in your opinion, is exactly the problem with why he is struggling to reach his great potential.
He will always have question marks about his future – whether he is playing, on the bench or injured. His contract has a year and a half to run but United are already reportedly planning to knock him out in exchange for a £ 53m price cut, according to rumors from Spain alarming longtime contender Real Madrid.
Pogba faces a long battle for his place this season but until he is hugged by the club like in his country there will be no place like home forever.
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