France coach Didier Deschamps insists Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will not win the Ballon d’Or unless he produces some world-class performances.
The 23-year-old returned to Old Trafford in a world-record £89million move from Juventus during the summer and has struggled with consistency so far.
He’s scored just twice in 13 Premier League games, and with a lack of goals, Deschamps believes it will cost Pogba a chance at winning world football’s top individual prize.
“He’s a midfielder,” he said. “The Ballon d’Or is for forwards or No. 10s, apart from rare exceptions in certain competitions. They’re players who score goals.
“Paul has scored some, he’s going to score some, but he won’t score three goals per match. That’s not his game.
“All expectations are focused on him, and it will always be like that. He’s someone who is always catching the eye with a move. He can do things others can’t, but he has to also be in the reality of what is good for the team.
“We’re talking about a young player. He’s at a club where he is used in different positions.
“Even when he does things well, it’s never good enough. So, you can understand why that pushes him to do things that are out of the ordinary but which are not necessarily useful. There is also the character Paul Pogba, with his media side, the social media, his transfer. He has no part in that. He didn’t set the price. Now, honestly, he’s not under pressure.”
Kaka was the last midfielder to win the Ballon d’Or back in 2007, forwards Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have won the award every year since.
Pogba has only showcased glimpses of his ability at Old Trafford, but there is still plenty of time for him to go on and become a top player at United.