MANCHESTER UNITED

Deschamps backs Pogba to bounce back from United struggles

Paul Pogba's season has stuttered at Manchester United, but Didier Deschamps is not doubting his importance to France.

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Deschamps backs Pogba to bounce back from Manchester United struggles

Didier Deschamps has backed Paul Pogba to come through his difficult spell at Manchester United after naming him in the France squad to face Colombia and Russia. Pogba started from the bench in both legs as United were knocked out of the Champions League by Sevilla, having struggled to rediscover his best form with his performances for United under heavy scrutiny.

Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford look dejected after Tuesday's Champions League defeat to Sevilla at Old Trafford.

Club form won't change what I think of Pogba, says Deschamps

But the former Juventus midfielder has not lost his place for France, with Deschamps acknowledging that even top players struggle at one time or another. "I do not know what undroppable means," Deschamps said of Pogba's inclusion. "In September or October, we questioned Antoine Griezmann - why not? It was said that [Kylian] Mbappe was struggling. Today he's at top form.  Players can not have a steady course for 10 months in the season. [Pogba] had a complicated period, yes, but it had been a long time since it had happened. I know what he's capable of. It does not change what I think of him."

Pogba

Kurzawa, Sissoko and Payet omitted

Layvin Kurzawa was not selected for this month's friendlies, missing out after losing his place at Paris Saint-Germain. "[Kurzawa] will not be happy to see that he is not in the list," Deschamps said. "It's a choice for this moment. He has had a season that has been a little tough, especially in recent times where he has been used less by PSG in big matches. He has already played with us and he is part of this France group. I do not have a message to convey to him, even if he is not happy because he is not here."

Dimitri Payet on target against Athletic Club last week.

World Cup list not yet finalized

Deschamps added there could yet be changes ahead of the World Cup, as Moussa Sissoko and Dimitri Payet were also omitted. "This is not 100 per cent - May's list will not be copied and pasted from March's," the coach said. "It seems obvious that those I have selected will have the opportunity to be in action, but that's not how the final decision is made. There remains a month and a half of the season."

Specifically on Marseille's Payet, he added: "There is still time."

France list:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Olympique de Marseille), Alphonse Areola (PSG)

Defenders: Lucas Digne (Barcelona), Lucas Hernández (Atlético de Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Djibril Sidibé (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (FC Barcelona), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid)

Midfielders: N'Golo Kanté (Chelsea), Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot (PSG), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)

Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder (Sevilla), Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Atlético de Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Kylian Mbappé (PSG), Florian Thauvin (Olympique de Marseille).