Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper and France teammate Hugo Lloris believes injuries have played a part in Paul Pogba’s struggles at Manchester United this season.
The Frenchman has only started four of Man United’s last 11 games due to a recent lapse in form under Jose Mourinho.
He missed two months of the campaign between September and November with a hamstring problem, and has missed out on clashes with Huddersfield Town and Liverpool in recent weeks due to further niggling injuries.
And Lloris, when asked about Pogba’s situation, sympathised with the frustration of being hampered by injury problems.
“Paul stays a strong player in our team, he is one of our leaders,” he said. “This season is a little bit complicated but he was injured so that could explain why he was not consistent all the time.”
“But he already proved with Manchester or France that he is one of the best players in the world if he is at 100 per cent. Now he is more mature.
“He knows his place, his responsibilities. I have no doubt that he will be ready for this huge competition and show his best side.”
Mourinho has used Pogba irresponsibly at times this season. There are no questions about that. The gap between the Frenchman in midfield, forced to remain alongside Nemanja Matic, and the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial further up the pitch has been enormous at times – much to the detriment of the flow of United’s attacking play.
At the same time, however, you can tell that the usual loquaciousness of Pogba’s style on the ball is not quite there. Ever since that clash with Newcastle United, where it was obvious he wasn’t feeling quite right, his body language has been suggestive of a man being held back by something internal.
Following the international break, supporters will just hope their manager gives him a chance to reassert himself on the starting XI as the season reaches its crescendo.