France national team coach Didier Deschamps said that owing to the difficulties of Manchester United, Paul Pogba is currently a shadow of himself on the football field.

Deschamps acknowledged that he knew his form was struggling with the Manchester United superstar and that his decision to play Pogba in the shock 2-0 home loss of France to Finland was partly to try and restore his confidence.

“Of course, he’s not in his best shape. I knew that before the match,’ said Deschamps ahead of International Football Week on Friday. ‘This match was intended to give him a certain rhythm. He knew he’d only be playing for an hour.

‘Being optimistic is hard to recall. He’s not in one of his best times, obviously.’

When he was brought back to Old Trafford for a whopping £ 89million in 2016, Pogba was the most expensive footballer in the world. But with his wildly inconsistent form, he has consistently fought to win over United fans.

Such are his problems at the moment that he lost his starting berth in the first team of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, amid the difficulties of the club so far this campaign. As a key factor in Pogba’s fall, Deschamps pointed to United’s weak start to the season.

They are also emotionally affected, as all players who have a club situation that is not positive. I know him well enough, and at some times, it can happen,’ he said.

The position of Pogba has dropped so drastically that United is said to be prepared for the Frenchman to consider as little as £ 53 million, with Real Madrid reportedly involved.

Deschamps indicated after his success against Finland that Pogba could not start on Saturday in the French Nations League tie against Portugal, but backed him to regain his best form.

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