September 23, 2021

‘Pogba knows how to raise his level’ – Lloris backs under-fire Man Utd midfielder

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The Tottenham No.1 is confident that a fellow countryman will rediscover his best form after a slow start to the season

Hugo Lloris has backed under-fire France midfielder Paul Pogba, insisting the Manchester United star “knows how to raise his level”.

Pogba has been the subject of intense criticism for his performances at the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

The 27-year-old has only scored once in 11 appearances in all competitions for United, and is no longer a guaranteed starter under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Indeed, Pogba played just eight minutes of United’s last game – a 3-1 win against Everton at Goodison Park – while he gave away the penalty that saw Arsenal win 1-0 at Old Trafford on November 1.

And his miserable form transferred over to the international stage on Wednesday as he was hooked early in the second half during France’s surprise 2-0 friendly defeat at home to Finland.

Didier Deschamps admitted that Pogba is struggling to live up to his usual high standards post-match, telling reporters: “Like all players who have a club situation that is not positive, they are also impacted mentally.

“I know him well enough and it can happen at some points.”

Lloris, who serves as the first-choice goalkeeper for both Tottenham and France, has defended the Red Devils playmaker, pointing out that he has overcome “adversity” plenty of times over the course of his career.

“He lacks a bit of rhythm, compared to his situation at his club. Like [Raphael] Varane or [Antoine] Griezmann, he comes with a smile,” the Spurs captain told a press conference ahead of Les Bleus’ UEFA Nations League clash with Portugal on Saturday night.

“We see him ready to meet the challenges, the jersey of Les Bleus is close to his heart. 

“He is one of the leaders of this team. He has a long history [with the national team] and also knows how to raise his level when necessary, especially when there is adversity. 

“Tomorrow (Saturday), he will be keen to do well.”

France must beat Portugal to move top of League A, Group 3, with goal difference separating the two sides after four rounds of fixtures.

Deschamps will then start preparing his side for another Nations League encounter at home to Sweden on Tuesday.