France coach Deschamps wants Pogba to be ‘neutral’ midfielder

  • Reuters
  • Updated: Jun 10, 2016 16:32 IST
France's Paul Pogba (left) and Bacary Sagna participate in a training session, in the Stade de France stadium, Paris. (AP Photo)

Midfielder Paul Pogba still has room for improvement in his all-round game despite being one of the most exciting prospects in world football, France coach Didier Deschamps said ahead of Euro 2016, which starts on Friday.

The 23-year-old has been a key member of Deschamps’ squad since making his debut three years ago and his versatility has raised expectations of his country repeating their 1984 European-title winning campaign on home soil.

However, Deschamps said the 2014 World Cup’s best young player can become even more effective.

“People expect too much of him because he has above-average technique,” Deschamps told Uefa’s website.

“He’s not there to make the crowd rise every time he touches the ball. I’ve told him that sometimes he needs to play in a neutral way. He’s a midfielder, not a number 10.”

Read | Romania to target France’s defensive ‘shortcomings’ in Euro 2016 opener

Pogba hopes to emulate Deschamps, who captained France to World Cup glory in 1998.

“He always gives me the advice I need to improve. I want to progress. I want to become a great player, a top player like he was,” the Juventus player told the Uefa’s website.

France start their Euro 2016 campaign against Romania on Friday before taking on Albania and Switzerland.

Read | France get Euro 2016 underway with a mission to lift national gloom

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