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So this is why Paul Pogba is not living up to his billing

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Pogba struggling to live up to huge expectations after his return to Man Utd
Pogba struggling to live up to huge expectations after his return to Man Utd

France captain Hugo Lloris has leapt to the defence of under-fire his under-fire team-mate Paul Pogba and insisted he will get back to his best for club and country.

Pogba has struggled to live up to the huge expectations generated by his world record £89m move from Juventus to United in August and his indifferent form continued in France’s World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria on Friday, with the French media highly critical of his display.

However, Pogba’s national team skipper has insisted the midfielder has the class to come good, as he suggested a Euro 2016 hangover was the primary reason for his stuttering start to the campaign.

“There are a lot of players who played in the Euros and are experiencing physical difficulties at this moment,” Tottenham keeper Lloris stated.

“Their preparation was not ideal for the new season. Paul is one of them and he has to take on a record transfer to Manchester United.

“There are lots of little things that have slowed him, but we all know he has many qualities and talent - that’s why we’re demanding of him. But things will go well for him with work.

“I can understand the high expectations around him. There are also expectations from the dressing room, from the staff and the coach.

“But France is a team and not only one player. We have to be complementary to get the best performance.

“Paul has everything to be a great player, but we always ask him to back that up. He can show it in a big game.”

Pogba will be looking to make his mark on the Premier League in the grand manner when he returns to club duty for United in the eagerly anticipated clash against Liverpool at Anfield next Monday.

Before that, he will take centre-stage for France in their high profile 2018 World Cup qualifier in Holland on Monday evening.