Manchester United’s Paul Pogba picks up two assists for France against Italy

by Leo Nieboer

Paul Pogba picked up two assists for France in their side’s 3-1 friendly win over Italy in San Nicola on Thursday night.

The Frenchman made his first international appearance since his world record move to Manchester United last month, acting as the lynchpin of a comfortable victory for the visitors.

Pogba’s magnificent through ball on 17 minutes found Anthony Martial, who duly swept home for his first France goal.

The 23-year-old didn’t stop there, however; with his side 2-1 up, Pogba found Layvin Kurzawa with a neat reverse pass on 81 minutes to put the game beyond Italy’s reach.

This was merely a continuation of what Pogba has been doing for a number of years. At just 23, he forms the axis of Didier Deschamps’ side, acting as the faultless medium between defence and attack, personified most clearly by his assist for Martial – a defence-splitting pass that originated from picking up the ball from his back four.

Pogba’s presence makes it seem like there exists no gap between defence and attack, such is his ability to either launch the ball up the pitch with optimum precision or eat up ground with his rampaging running style.

The early signs suggest that, just like with France, Pogba will be the driving force in Manchester United’s midfield for some time.

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