Lloris: Time for Man Utd star Pogba to be a leader

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The £89 million midfielder has been told that he is "no longer a young player" and that he needs to step up for France at World Cup 2018 this summer

Paul Pogba has been urged to step up as “a leader” by France team-mate Hugo Lloris, with the Manchester United midfielder “no longer a young player”.

The 25-year-old has spent another season seeing his every move at Old Trafford dissected in minute detail, with questions asked of both his on and off-field antics.

As an £89 million asset, much is expected of a man who boasts the physical attributes to be one of the best players on the planet, but one who is often accused of lacking the right mindset.

Pogba has an opportunity this summer to show that he can be a talismanic presence, as he goes in search of global glory with his country, and is being challenged to show that he is ready to take on such a role.

Tottenham goalkeeper and Les Bleus team-mate Lloris told reporters as France ready themselves for World Cup 2018: “Paul is no longer a young player.

“He has collected experience with his club and with the national team.

“He has a lot of talent and that label has stuck with him since the beginning. He has had a very good season, although people still debate it. As a football player and as a football fan, I think he had a very good season.

“He has this desire to shine with the French national team. Will he be the ‘boss’? That’s a strong word but a ‘leader’ is what is expected of him on and off the field.

Paul Pogba France leader Hugo Lloris

“He is reaching maturity and he wants to do well. But it’s also important that he focuses on his individual performance. This is the best way, to lead by example.”

Pogba has taken in 52 appearances for France to date, scoring nine goals.

He was part of the squad which reached the final of Euro 2016 on home soil, but is now looking to go one better as another major prize looms into view.

Didier Deschamps’ side are among the favourites to go all the way in Russia, but they are a team which has buckled under the weight of expectation in the past – with their World Cup history since lifting the trophy in 1998 littered with tales of in-fighting and what might have been.

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