By Dave Marshall
Paul Pogba has hailed the influence of France teammate N’Golo Kante, claiming that the 27-year-old’s tenacity makes his job easier.
Under Didier Deschamps, Pogba has been impressive at the World Cup for Les Bleus, playing in a more advanced role with the added security of Kante behind him.
In the two games so far, Pogba has looked assured and played some lovely balls either in behind for Kylian Mbappe or up towards Olivier Giroud. He has put in more subdued performances for United, where he is expected to put in a defensive shift.
Kante, one of the best defensive midfield players in the world, has made 27 recoveries at this summer’s tournament already, which has helped Pogba go further up the pitch and cause more damage.
Speaking after Thursday’s victory over Peru, Pogba said, “We’ve all been very, very good together.
“With NG (Kanté) it’s easier, he runs everywhere, he has fifteen lungs. Football is much easier with players like that.”
Pogba came in for lot of criticism last season due to inconsistent displays; his injury in September appeared to disrupt his performances, but it seems that he needs a specialist ball winner like Kante to thrive. Nemanja Matic is a different kind of player who, although powerful, doesn’t cover ground quite as quickly as Kante does.
Fred, who covers all bases in midfield and is capable of making third-man runs to create more space for Pogba, could be a crucial signing. We have a great player on our hands but he needs to be playing in a system that highlights his strengths.