France manager Didier Deschamps has urged fans to be patient with midfielder Paul Pogba as he strives to rediscover his best form.
Pogba recently missed ten games for Manchester United with a hamstring injury, but a 45-minute showing in the Europa League against AC Milan was enough to earn the Frenchman a spot in Deschamps’ squad for the current international break.
He managed another 30 minutes off the bench against Ukraine, after which Deschamps insisted that Pogba is going to need more time to get back to full strength.
“He is not on top of his game, that’s for sure,” Deschamps said (via Sky Sports News). “When he came off the bench against Ukraine, we were not having our best moment. But obviously, those 30 minutes were good for him.
“Like every player that comes back from injury, he needs time. He was in this situation in November, he came with not a lot of minutes and played one hour against Finland which was not that good, but it didn’t stop him from having a great game against Portugal after that.
“He is capable of playing from the start but also coming in during the game. But he needs to play minutes in order to get fit again.”
He featured again for Les Bleus on Sunday during their 2-0 victory over Kazakhstan, playing just under an hour as his side picked up their first win in their World Cup qualifying campaign.
Fortunately for Deschamps, he doesn’t need to be worried about Pogba missing out on minutes with United these days. Back in November, the midfielder was in and out of the squad, but he has since managed to force his way back into the starting lineup and was one of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s most important players before his latest injury.
After Pogba’s return against Milan, Solskjaer made no secret of his admiration for the Frenchman, who he tipped to play a vital role for United between now and the end of the season.
“We’ve missed Paul,” the United boss said (via the Manchester Evening News). “He’s been out for almost two months and of course any team would miss a player like Paul Pogba.
“He was just getting into his best form and he’s going to give us a big boost for the rest of the season. And today he made a very big difference to us.”