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France news: Pogba urged to become leader

1 year ago

In the latest France news, captain Hugo Lloris has urged international team-mate Paul Pogba to show his leadership qualities for Les Bleus at the 2018 World Cup, ahead of their high-profile friendly with Italy on Friday night.

Pogba returned to Manchester United in the summer of 2016 from Juventus for a then-record £89.3million but, after two seasons with the Red Devils, he has struggled to really set the Premier League on fire.

The 25-year-old midfielder has scored 11 goals from 57 league appearances during his stint at Old Trafford, helping United win the League Cup and Europa League in 2017.

However, the Frenchman’s performances in the big matches have come into question on several occasions and there were reports claiming he was offered to rivals Manchester City in the January transfer window.

Pogba has been included in Didier Deschamps’ 23-man squad for the World Cup and Tottenham keeper Lloris, who captains both club and country, has called on his team-mate to show more leadership qualities.

“Paul is no longer a young player. He has collected experience with his club and with the national team,” he said. “He has a lot of talent and that label has stuck with him since the beginning.

“He has had a very good season, although people still debate it. As a football player and as a football fan, I think he had a very good season. He has this desire to shine with the French national team.

“Will he be the ‘boss’? That’s a strong word but a ‘leader’ is what is expected of him on and off the field.”

France, who are 13/2 with betway sports to win the World Cup, have been drawn in Group C alongside Australia, Peru and Denmark in what is arguably one of the easier groups on paper.

Les Bleus, who lifted the World Cup for the only time in 1998 on home soil, are also a special 15/2 price with betway sports to win the tournament, score the most goals and concede the least goals.