Former Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly has lambasted Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, claiming he shies away from his defensive responsibilities.

Speaking on beIN Sports (h/t Daily Mail), former Chelsea and France defender Marcel Desailly has thrashed compatriot Paul Pogba, claiming that the Manchester United midfielder does not give it his all while defending off the ball.

Throughout Pogba’s second stint at Old Trafford, the 29-year-old has been criticised for not doing enough when not in possession. While there are no doubts over his quality with the ball at his feet, the Frenchman’s work rate and efforts when the team is defending have been repeatedly questioned.

And Desailly lashed out at the former Juventus superstar for the same while explaining why Ralf Rangnick might have dropped Pogba from the starting XI against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.

The French midfielder was part of the starting XI against Tottenham over the weekend but made way for Bruno Fernandes against Los Rojiblancos. Fred and Scott McTominay also started ahead of the 29-year-old.

“Quality-wise you cannot compare Pogba to Fred, McTominay or Matic,” Desailly said. “You allow him to be a playmaker behind Ronaldo he will take advantage. When it goes well he is fantastic but if it doesn’t go well, offensively he has not brought what everyone was expecting and at the same time he will cheat a little bit. He will not drop back and help the midfield with the defensive intensity the team is looking for.”

While Pogba did not start against Atletico Madrid, he did come on as a second-half substitute but hardly made any notable contribution as Manchester United ended up losing 1-0 against the reigning La Liga title-holders to get eliminated from the UEFA Champions League.

As a result, the Red Devils will finish yet another season without a trophy, making it five in a row since they last lifted silverware. Pogba, who had contributed heavily towards the club’s last title – the UEFA Europa League in 2016/17 – is likely to depart from Old Trafford in the summer as his contract stands to run out at the end of the season.

There have been contacts with former club Juventus, who are already preparing a contract offer to re-sign him. It remains to be seen if the 29-year-old returns to Turin or decides to hang around at Old Trafford by signing an extension.

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