Olivier Giroud has given his backing to fellow Frenchman Paul Pogba ahead of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup Final clash between Manchester United and Chelsea.
Both players will be travelling to the 2018 Russia World Cup this summer to represent Didier Deschamps’ France but are against each other in the highly-anticipated showpiece final.
Pogba has been heavily criticised by fans and pundits for underwhelming performances since his £89m return to Man United from Juventus in 2016, but Giroud still backs him to improve.
Talking to the Evening Standard ahead of his fourth FA Cup Final in five years, Giroud said: “He is one of the people Chelsea have to worry about – he is one of their key players.
“Paul is a special personality. He’s very committed on the pitch, he is passionate. He is a very good player and he has shown it.”
Pogba has scored 15 goals and made 18 assists in 87 matches since being brought back to England by Jose Mourinho, as well as winning the UEFA Europa League ‘Player of the Tournament’ award last season.
Giroud continued: “Has the Premier League seen the best of him? Paul is still young and there is a lot of expectation around him because he has a lot of talent. People are never patient with this kind of player.
After coming 5th in the annual FIFA Ballon d’Or vote in 2015 during his four-year stint at Juventus, Pogba hasn’t quite hit the same heights. There’s no doubting the promise is there though, and Giroud added:
“He just needs to carry on improving – he can improve a lot. Obviously, he has a huge talent. We will see more and more of his quality in the future. I just hope it will come after the game on Saturday.”