France manager Didier Deschamps has claimed that Paul Pogba must be "mentally impacted" by the situation he finds himself in at Manchester United.
The midfielder is finding it difficult to nail down a regular starting role under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the likes of Fred, Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes all preferred to Pogba in the early stages of the 2020-21 campaign.
Pogba lasted just under an hour as France suffered a friendly defeat against Finland in midweek, but Deschamps believes that the 27-year-old will bounce back and silence the critics given time.
"He's not in his best form, of course. I knew that before the game," Deschamps told reporters. "This match [vs. Finland] was meant to give him some rhythm. He knew that he would only play for an hour.
"It's hard to remember to be positive. Obviously, he's not in one of his better periods. Like all players who have a club situation that is not positive, they are also impacted mentally.
"I know him well enough and it can happen at some points. Periods like this can happen. He has the knowledge of the highest level, the pride and the spirit to be able to answer his critics."
France return to the field on Saturday as they face off against Portugal in a crunch match in the Nations League, although Pogba's involvement from the first whistle is uncertain.