Paul Pogba put in an all-action performance for France this week as they beat Bulgaria in a Euro 2020 warm-up match.
Pogba was praised by the French press for his performance with France Football praising his ‘extraordinary technical quality’.
Manager Didier Deschamps played him in an attacking role with two defensive midfielders behind him, giving him extra creative freedom, while also asking him to press high without the ball.
Speaking after the game, Deschamps told Footmercato: “Paul is a very important player on the pitch and in the leadership as well. He knows what I expect from him, he is able to do anything with us.
“He has this ability to be able to defend, pass, and project himself. He has a little more freedom in the system that we use for these two matches. But at the World Cup he had a more restrictive role, but he liked it too. We are going to need him and all the players at their best.”
Pogba’s tournament to shine
Deschamps saw what Pogba did for United in an attacking role last season.
ESPN reported recently that Deschamps was considering making a tactical tweak to enable Pogba to play like this for France.
We saw it against Bulgaria when Corentin Tolisso and Ngolo Kante both played in a defensive role as a two, with Pogba in front of them.
If he is allowed to continue this role at Euro 2020 then Pogba and France will be entertaining to watch. The United midfielder is a hard player to stop when he is in full flow, and relieved of some defensive duties.
With Bruno Fernandes playing a central role for United, Pogba does not get to play in this same position and was out on the wing last season, and made it work well.
United reverted to playing him in a more withdrawn defensive role in the Europa League final and lost some of the attacking impact Pogba can provide as a result.
Pogba’s future is still in doubt, with ESPN reporting United want to renew contract talks with him but are concerned he intends to run his deal down until 2022.
A strong Euro 2020 could prompt one of the continent’s big clubs to try and tempt United with a mega bid. If this is Pogba’s plan, then Deschamps tactics set him up perfectly to showcase his talent this summer.
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