Paul Pogba’s agent has confirmed he will miss the Qatar World Cup due to injury.
In a huge blow to the French national team’s hopes of defending their 2018 title, the Juventus midfielder has been ruled out of action for the prestigious tournament.
Pogba is yet to play for his new club since leaving Manchester United in the summer, having immediately picked up a knee injury during pre-season.
He was expected to return to action in September but has since suffered two major setbacks on his road to recovery.
The 28-year-old underwent surgery on his damaged meniscus and returned to first-team training earlier this month, giving Didier Deschamps hope that he could select his star midfielder.
But a thigh injury has now dashed any chance of that happening, according to his agent Rafaela Pimenta.
She said on Monday: “Following yesterday and today’s medical review in Torino and Pittsburgh, it is extremely painful to inform Paul Pogba will still need recovery time from his surgery,” his agent, Rafaela Pimenta, confirmed on Monday.
“For this reason, Paul will not be able to join Juventus squad before the World Cup break nor the French National Team in Qatar. If wishful thinking would change things, Paul would be playing tomorrow.
“But what changes things are hard work, resilience and discipline, all of which are the only things in Paul’s mind at these challenging times. Paul will continue working, giving his very best to be back on the pitch for the fans and his team as soon as possible.”
Pogba’s talismanic performances were crucial to France’s success in Russia. And Les Bleus will now also have to make do without his midfield partner N’Golo Kante, who will be out until the new year with a hamstring injury.
The veteran duo’s absence has been somewhat anticipated, however, giving Deschamps plenty of time to piece together a new-look midfield filled with young talent. Expected to take up the mantle is Real Madrid’s Aurelien Tchouameni, who will partner either club teammate Eduardo Camavinga or former Monaco teammate Youssouf Fofana.