A lacklustre performance from midfielder Pogba in France’s warm-up friendly against Russia 2018 absentees Italy in Nice last week caused some concern.
Samuel Umtiti, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele scored for Les Blues at Allianz Riviera where Pogba was far from his best.
But Deschamps jumped to his defence on Friday, ahead of France’s friendly in Lyon on Saturday against the United States, another team who have been World Cup regulars but have missed out of qualifying this time.
He said of Pogba’s showing against Italy: “He knows it, I’ve spoken to him, that it wasn’t his best match, that’s for sure.”
But Deschamps added: “I know that we speak about Paul a lot. Effectively he’s a midfielder, he’s not a number 10, he’s not a forward. He can score and help others to score.
“He’s a complete midfielder, who can do everything. But he can’t do everything, there’s a nuance.”
Deschamps’ protection of the Manchester United midfielder, stressing he is a player with all the ability in the world but underlining he cannot be expected to run every match, may resonate with the former Juventus man.
Pogba has said he wants a starring role at the World Cup and Deschamps said “there are no worries” where he is concerned, although France will want the 25-year-old purring for their opening match at the tournament, which comes against Australia on June 16 in Kazan.
France were visited at their Clairefontaine training camp by president Emmanuel Macron this week, before making the journey to Lyon to step up their preparations.
French sports daily L’Equipe reported on its website that Pogba is expected to start the game against the United States, in a midfield trio behind the striking triumvirate of Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud.
The US have lost all three of their previous matches against France and will do well to avoid another defeat.
Dave Sarachan’s young squad, with an average age of barely 23, are coming off a 2-1 defeat to the Republic of Ireland last weekend.
Coupled with a Ronaldinho-esque bit of skill, Rashford’s goal-scoring exploits and an all-around excellent display earned him Man of the Match honours in the 2-1 win.
Social media was abuzz from the moment he scored, with the reactions flowing in even a day later.
Marcus Rashford is such a prodigious talent. 👏👏— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 7, 2018
Rashyyyyy 🌟🤤— Santi Gomes (@agomes_47) June 7, 2018
🗣 “In two years, he’ll be one of the best in the world. He scores those daily in training."— Football__Tweet (@Football__Tweet) June 8, 2018
- Fabian Delph on Marcus Rashford. ⚽ pic.twitter.com/igO5WRkRVa
But he was named in the 2010 winners’ squad and will be “ready”, his manager says.
Whether he features in Saturday’s final friendly with Tunisia is another matter, with Lopetegui telling Marca he is having to rein the player in.
“You have to hold him back slightly,” he said.
“But I’m sure he’ll be ready. You want him to take two steps forward instead of just one before suffering a setback.”
Lopetegui is banking on having midfielder Sergio Busquets available to face Tunisia – England’s group-stage opponents.
The Barcelona man missed the friendly with Switzerland due to illness.
“Sergio has recovered perfectly,” Lopetegui added. “Provided nothing else happens, he’ll play.”
The game is being played in Krasnodar, with the sides already in Russia in a bid to acclimatise ahead of their opening clashes.
“It’s one more step, we didn’t choose Tunisia by chance,” Lopetegui said.
“They have a very good team and will demand a lot of us. We need to fine-tune things and arrive at the first match with balance, both physically and mentally.”
Spain start out against Portugal a week on Saturday, with Tunisia facing England the following Monday.