Bacary Sagna has criticised Manchester United fans for “expecting so much” from Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba.
The former Arsenal defender, 38, also issued an extraordinary defence of fellow Frenchman Pogba over the straight red card he received in United’s 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool.
The 28-year-old came off the bench at half-time but was sent off after just 15 minutes for a reckless lunge which left Naby Keita requiring a stretcher.
Pogba has been slammed by Old Trafford legends including Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand in the aftermath of the incident, with the duo accusing him of a lack of concentration.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, has been criticised for upsetting the balance of the team due to his stranglehold on the centre-forward spot.
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Sagna, however, insists too much is being demanded of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner and £89million midfielder Pogba.
“I love Paul and the way he plays. I don’t want to speak for him, but it seems like things have been a little difficult between him and the fans at times because they expect so much from him,” Sagna told Metro .
“They want him to be perfect because he’s so charismatic on the pitch and can create so much space they want him to do everything. A bit like now with Ronaldo.”
Further, Sagna insisted Pogba was merely trying to show the desire the fans crave with his wayward challenge on Keita, which resulted in a red card after the VAR summoned the referee to the pitchside monitor.
He added: “Pogba got a lot of stick for his recent sending off, yes it was a bad tackle, but he’s trying to fight and get the ball back for the team.
“What do you want him to do, just stand and watch? People think he doesn’t care, that he’s smiling but knowing him he was disappointed.”
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Pogba – who could be facing a spell on the sidelines with a thigh injury – is out of contract next summer and the latest update from super-agent Mino Raiola hints he may leave United after six years.
Sagna is unsure what the future holds for his former international teammate, but he insists Pogba “loves Manchester” having come through the academy ranks with United.
“I don’t know if he belongs at Manchester United,” he said of Pogba. “I’d love to see him shining in the team – he loves Manchester.”
This content was originally published here.