France’s Paul Pogba has yet to show his full potential and it remains too early to judge the midfielder, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said of his compatriot.
After subdued displays in his first two Euro 2016 Group A outings against Romania and Albania, the 23-year-old produced an improved performance in the goalless draw against Switzerland on Sunday as unbeaten France topped their pool.
Pogba made 48 appearances in all competitions for Juventus this past season, leading the club to a Serie A and Coppa Italia double as well as fuelling speculation of a big-money move away from Turin.
“He’ll be the player that we expect at 26. That he’s not bringing everything that we expect of him, it’s normal at that age. I don’t know any player who carried the French team at 23 years of age. None,” Wenger told British media.
“Now that he’s going through a maturing period, we start to cast doubt on him. It’s the mental test in the career of a top player.
“Either he’ll lose the aura that he had or else he’s going to show that he’s the player that we were waiting for and he’s going to develop further. It’s the normal phase for a very good player on the path to becoming a great player.”
France, who topped the group on seven points from three matches, will play a third-placed team from either Group C, D or E in a Round of 16 encounter in Lyon on Sunday.