France boss Didier Deschamps has played down talk of Paul Pogba performing differently for his nation compared to his club.
After Pogba dazzled in France’s Euro 2020 opener against Germany, there were claims the midfielder was stepping up his game for his nation after struggling for form in the back-end of Manchester United’s season.
The Frenchman disappointed in United’s biggest game of the season, a penalty shootout defeat to Villarreal in the Europa League final, and some Reds fans would like to see more of the Pogba we see for France.
But Les Bleus boss Deschamps is having none of it, making it clear he is behind Pogba and refusing to discuss club matters.
“For me, it’s only the French Pogba that counts,” Deschamps said during a press conference, as reported by the Manchester Evening News.
“Obviously, everything that I say is going to… I don’t like to say what is happening at club football, be it talking about Solskjaer or any other coach. Players are different, coaches are different.
“What’s important for me is only what he’s doing for the French team and the importance he has on the pitch. He’s a real born leader, even though, yes, maybe today he didn’t have his best performance.
“But he had a blinder against Germany. He was slightly not as good today but he is a highly influential player.”
Pogba did indeed impress during France’s opening game win against Germany, but he left a lot to be desired in their disappointing draw with Hungary on Saturday.
In truth, it’s consistency that is the issue for the midfielder, rather than any difference between club and international form, and he will be desperate to get back to his best as France prepare to take on Portugal in a huge game on Wednesday night.
Les Bleus are likely already through with four points, but they may well need to win in order to win the group after Germany beat Portugal to move on to three points, one point behind France, ahead of their final group stage game, against Hungary.