Lloris urges Pogba to be France's 'leader'

Paul Pogba endured a mixed season with Manchester United, but France team-mate Hugo Lloris think he is capable of being a leading light.

France's Paul Pogba   -  Getty Images

Hugo Lloris has encouraged France team-mate Paul Pogba to step up and become a "leader" for the team at the upcoming World Cup.

Pogba goes into the World Cup on the back of a curious season at club level with Manchester United.

Although he scored six and set up another 10 in the Premier League, Pogba regularly came in for criticism for inconsistent performances and some pundits even took issue with his off-field habits.

He also endured a difficult period in the second half of the season when Jose Mourinho dropped him several times, questioning his displays.

Lloris thinks people have been too hard on him, though he does feel Pogba needs to move on from being a "young player" and develop into one of France's leading forces.

"Paul is no longer a young player," said Lloris. "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.

"He is reaching maturity and he wants to do well, but it's also important that he focuses on his individual performances. This is the best way, to lead by example."

France begin their World Cup campaign against Australia in Kazan on June 16, before also playing Peru and Denmark.

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