Didier Deschamps has backed Paul Pogba to come through his difficult spell at Manchester United after naming him in the France squad to face Colombia and Russia.
Pogba started from the bench in both legs as United were knocked out of the Champions League by Sevilla, having struggled to rediscover his best form with his performances for United under heavy scrutiny.
But the former Juventus midfielder has not lost his place for France, with Deschamps acknowledging that even top players struggle at one time or another.
“I do not know what undroppable means,” Deschamps said of Pogba’s inclusion. “In September or October, we questioned Antoine Griezmann – why not? It was said that [Kylian] Mbappe was struggling. Today he’s at top form.
“Players can not have a steady course for 10 months in the season. [Pogba] had a complicated period, yes, but it had been a long time since it had happened. I know what he’s capable of. It does not change what I think of him.”
— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) February 25, 2018
Layvin Kurzawa was not selected for this month’s friendlies, missing out after losing his place at Paris Saint-Germain.
“[Kurzawa] will not be happy to see that he is not in the list,” Deschamps said. “It’s a choice for this moment. He has had a season that has been a little tough, especially in recent times where he has been used less by PSG in big matches.
“He has already played with us and he is part of this France group. I do not have a message to convey to him, even if he is not happy because he is not here.”
Deschamps added there could yet be changes ahead of the World Cup, as Moussa Sissoko and Dimitri Payet were also omitted.
“This is not 100 per cent – May’s list will not be copied and pasted from March’s,” the coach said.
“It seems obvious that those I have selected will have the opportunity to be in action, but that’s not how the final decision is made. There remains a month and a half of the season.”
Specifically on Marseille’s Payet, he added: “There is still time.”
2009 – Dimitri Payet has scored his first goal in European competitions since 26 February 2009 (with St Etienne against Olympiakos), more than 9 years ago. Wait. pic.twitter.com/8bZRWyQzbL
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) March 8, 2018
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