Didier Deschamps has warned his France squad that they cannot rely on the talents of Paul Pogba if they are to go far at the World Cup.
The Manchester United midfielder had a difficult second season in the Premier League, reportedly seeing his relationship with Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho strained, and was booed by French supporters on international duty recently.
Pogba was the starring name for Les Bleus during the European Championships in 2016, where France were defeated by Portugal in the final, but has struggled to maintain those level since leaving Juventus.
With France targeting World Cup glory 20 years after another midfield star Zinedine Zidane led the nation to success, Pogba is expected to shine at this summer’s tournament but Deschamps says he has his limits.
“Paul Pogba can do everything but he cannot do everything all alone,” the France boss told a news conference on Friday.
“It [his performance against Italy] was not the best, that’s for sure, but I have talked to him about it.
“There’s no problem.”
— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) June 5, 2018
France play their final warm-up match against the United States on Saturday, and Deschamps hinted the starting XI in Lyon will be similar to the one he selects for their World Cup opener with Australia.
“The composition [of the team] against the United States will be close to the one that starts the World Cup but not necessarily the same,” Deschamps said.
“Competition is for everyone. The choices were difficult for the squad, it’s the same for the [starting] 11. It’s high competition, players are used to it. The competition concerns the whole group.
“Everything is going well. A significant workload was carried out this week with double sessions.
“We can always do better but we must above all keep hindering the opponent. We need to progress in efficiency and in the offensive to defensive transition. Regarding the transition from defence to attack, we are good.”
Deschamps also gave an update on the fitness of Manchester City full-back Benjamin Mendy, who has not completed a full match since a 6-0 victory against Watford in September.
He added: “In the athletic field, Benjamin Mendy has no problem. He is always in front. He has not played 90 minutes yet, we’ll see if he can do it soon.”
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