Carlton Palmer believes the influence of N’Golo Kante allows Paul Pogba to perform better on the international stage than in Manchester United colours.
Pogba returned to Old Trafford from Italian giants Juventus for a then-world record fee five years ago but has failed to hit the heights many expected.
Since heading back to Manchester, the central midfielder has found the back of the net 38 times in 199 appearances and has come under fire on a number of occasions from pundits such as Roy Keane, due to his performances for United.
However, Pogba impressed for France at Euro 2020, with him adding his name to the scoresheet with a long range strike against Switzerland before the pre-tournament favourites were knocked out of the competition at the last 16 stage.
Pogba featured in all three group stages clashes and the penalty shoot-out defeat to Switzerland alongside Chelsea’s Champions League-winning midfielder Kante.
Palmer, who won 18 England caps during his playing career, feels having the energetic Kante alongside Pogba allows him to flourish for Didier Deschamps’ France.
The former Sheffield Wednesday frontman also feels Pogba’s form would improve if France boss Didier Deschamps replaced United chief Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the Old Trafford dugout.
Speaking exclusively to The Transfer Tavern, Palmer said: “Didier Deschamps knows his player. No disrespect to Ole, but I said at the time that if you want to get the best out of Paul Pogba, why not give Deschamps the manager’s job?
“Pogba is a terrific player but, if you see the way he plays in the French side, he is aided by Kante.
“Kante is basically like two or three players, so Pogba is given a free role. He doesn’t play out wide, like he has at United. I know they play him there because they don’t see him as an orthodox midfield player but France get the best out of him by allowing him to go and play football.
“He is given the freedom to play because Kante fills the holes. I’m sure Deschamps says to him, ‘I’m giving you the freedom to play, so deliver for me. I can’t afford for you to do this if you’re not delivering for me’.
“France’s record when Pogba and Kante start is quite phenomenal. I think Pogba is a terrific football player but you’ve got to have the balance of the team right to allow him to have the freedom to go and play on the football pitch.”
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