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Lineker gives tactical explanation why Pogba is better for France than Man Utd

It’s baffled Manchester United fans ever since the day Paul Pogba returned to Old Trafford for a world record £89million fee back in 2016.

The 28-year-old midfielder has shown flashes of brilliance for his club side, but often his standout form is all too fleeting.

With every impressive performance comes one of frustration, frequently followed by murmurings of a move elsewhere or discontent at his current role in the team.

Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer he has been used in several positions, but he is still yet to hit the same heights that he does for his country.

But why is Pogba so much more consistent for France than he is for United? Gary Lineker thinks he knows the answer.

Paul Pogba was on top form for France in their Euro 2020 last-16 clash against Switzerland

Again Pogba was at his best in the Euro 2020 last-16 clash against Switzerland, even scoring an absolute peach of a strike to put his side 3-1 ahead and seemingly into the quarter-finals, until a late comeback by their opponents sent the game to penalties.

His all-round play though was even better, as he sprayed passes around with ease and picked out his teammates in good areas.

And Lineker feels it is merely the efforts and movement of France’s attackers which bring the best out of Pogba and make his job a lot easier than it is at club level.

The BBC Sport presenter noted on Twitter : “People wonder why @paulpogba plays better for France than Manchester United.

“With France he has players, particularly [Kylian] Mbappe, and now [Karim] Benzema too, who love to make runs and spin behind defences, at United, as of yet, less so.”

It is a damning assessment from Lineker towards the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood in United’s attack.

France boss Didier Deschamps had an alternative explanation when asked this week, however, suggesting the freedom he gives Pogba in his role allows him to fully express himself on the pitch.

“Listen, Paul is a complete midfielder,” Deschamps said. “He has so many qualities – he can pass vertically, diagonally, all of this is part of his game.

“Then, of course, we work on the positioning, but it’s not only about playing good passes, it’s also about the positioning before the pass.

“His role is quite liberal, he’s not limited in the offensive approach.

Why is Pogba better for France than Man Utd? Give us your thoughts below.

“If there’s a need, he can also go back to win the ball behind, but on the pitch sometimes he can play a little bit higher or lower.

“His position can also develop between the left and right side, it just depends on the positioning of the other players.”

It seems Pogba is in agreement with both his manager and Lineker, as he claimed earlier in the tournament that his role at United is more restrictive and he feels less pressure to join the attack when playing for France.

“We were already playing with three midfielders [at Juventus ], in 5-3-2,” he told L’Equipe . “I had the freedom, I had to be in the box, to attack. It was an obligation. In Manchester, I have the freedom to enter the box, but the priority is to play and to defend.

“We (France) play in 4-2-3-1, also a diamond. I am a little more in the transmission, in the construction. But I have more freedom than in Manchester to enter the box, to make runs forwards.

“At the same time, when you have [Antoine] Griezmann and Kylian [Mbappe], you don’t want to enter their spaces, you don’t need to.”




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