Paul Pogba to be left out of France’s starting XI against Colombia

by Leo Nieboer

Didier Deschamps is set to leave Paul Pogba out of his starting XI for France’s meeting with Colombia in Paris on Friday night.

The Frenchman has only started four of Manchester United’s last 11 games due to a combination of poor form and injuries.

Deschamps noted earlier this week that he would speak privately with Pogba to get to the bottom of his recent struggles at Old Trafford.

And the France boss, having presumably spoken with the 25-year-old, has decided to pick Blaise Matuidi and N’Golo Kante ahead of him for the clash with Colombia.

Pogba is a remarkably talented footballer – one of the best in the world on his day – but that does not mean he wouldn’t benefit from the occasional prod from an outside influence, and that may well be what Deschamps is doing here.

And while the way Mourinho uses him deserves to be questioned, the Portuguese has left him out and favoured the ebullient youngster Scott McTominay instead less for tactical reasons and more because of the attitudinal approach instead. His body language, for whatever reason, does not seem quite right. It may well be because of his manager. It may be because of something more private, only known to Pogba himself. We just cannot know.

But if his predicament at Old Trafford will not force a response out of him, being left out of his country’s starting XI less than three months until the World Cup certainly will.

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