N’Golo Kante has defended Paul Pogba by claiming he is a “pleasure” to line up alongside amid recent criticism of the Manchester United star.
Pogba has come under fire for his performances at club level but linked up with Kante to good effect once more in the 1-0 win at Portugal on Saturday.
Chelsea star Kante grabbed the winner with a second-half strike in Lisbon and Pogba played 90 minutes as Les Bleus went top of Nations League Group A3.
But numerous members of the France squad have admitted Pogba is out of sorts, with captain Hugo Lloris claiming the 27-year-old’s situation at United is “not positive” and manager Didier Deschamps saying he has been “impacted mentally” at Old Trafford.
Pogba himself admitted he is going through a “difficult period” and prefers being away on international duty with his “family”, while speculation linking the player with a Red Devils exit is only increasing.
But Kante insists his partnership with Pogba – which helped France clinch the World Cup in 2018 – is as potent as ever.
“Yes it is true, with Paul it has been a little while he’s been injured, a little while since I played with him,” Kante told TF1 .
Why is Paul Pogba continuing to perform for France but struggling at Manchester United? Have your say here.
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“We all remember the World Cup, that whole adventure we did together, the qualifications stage and the competition, and it is a pleasure again to be playing with Paul in the national team.
“Against Portugal we had a good game and we are all satisfied with our performance.”
Kante was also keen to highlight France’s depth in midfield when pressed further on his relationship with Pogba.
He added: “I think it is not that simple. We are all together, it is not just Kante and Pogba, but the whole team.
“We are happy that we have never lost when we have started together, I hope that will continue for as long as possible, but these are victories and draws for whole team, not just us two.”
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