Paul Pogba’s form at Manchester United has been impacted by struggles for fitness and the fact that he knows the Red Devils are not good enough to challenge for major honours, says Arsene Wenger.
The World Cup-winning midfielder has faced questions regarding his attitude and performances throughout a second spell at Old Trafford.
Several reasons have been offered for his inconsistency, with the fact that the 26-year-old was looking for another transfer over the summer now added to the pot.
Fellow countryman Wenger admits the Frenchman’s desire to take on a new challenge has contributed to his ongoing struggles with the Red Devils, while a collective dip in quality is also considered to be responsible for a key man taking his eye off the ball.
Wenger told beIN Sports: “First of all, I think Paul Pogba since the start of the season has never been completely fit injury-wise.
“He doesn't look completely confident physically and he's the type of player who has a huge physical power. He needs to be perfectly fit physically.
“After that, when a player wants to leave and you stop him from leaving, you know you go through a process of rebuilding the relationship that the first thing that suffers is the performances.
“I personally think he behaves as well like he knows that Man United at the moment is not the team to compete for the championship.
“And, plus the fact that he was stopped from going away, it looks like the two together a little bit tarnish his performances.”
Pogba has taken in just six appearances for United across all competitions this season.
He is still waiting on a first goal of the campaign, while niggling knocks are becoming something of a concern.
An ankle problem has been keeping him in the treatment room of late, with no part played in a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle on Sunday which saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side hit a new low.
United will be desperate to have Pogba available for their next game, as they count down the days to a meeting with Liverpool, with the hope being that an international break will work in their favour.