The Tottenham midfielder is a France international colleague of a World Cup winner that he feels can be unfairly treated when giving his all

Tottenham midfielder Moussa Sissoko has expressed his sympathy towards much-maligned France team-mate Paul Pogba, with the Manchester United midfielder continuing to attract criticism while “nothing works” for him.

A World Cup winner on the books at Old Trafford, Pogba has been an easy target for detractors since making a record-breaking £89 million ($116m) transfer in the summer of 2016.

Much was expected of him after returning to United from Juventus, with the general consensus being that he has failed to deliver the desired return on a sizeable show of faith and funds.

Questions have continued to be asked of Pogba this season, with transfer talk lingering during a lengthy spell on the sidelines through injury, and Sissoko feels the 26-year-old can be unfairly singled out at times.

A man who endured similar struggles after linking up with Spurs told the Evening Standard of a countryman who is never far from the headlines: “I see the stories about [Pogba] in the newspaper or on TV.

“I wouldn’t say I’m shocked but the way I know him is totally different [to that].

“This kind [of thing] happened to me as well. Sometimes people only see what ­happens on the pitch. Maybe you’re not playing well. That doesn’t mean you’re not trying to give everything. 

“Sometimes you give everything and nothing works. Sometimes it’s because something has happened in your private life, so you’re not well. 

“The thing to do is be yourself, stay focused on yourself, try to ignore what people are saying. The most important thing is having the confidence of your team-mates, the manager and the staff. So keep working and your quality will come back. That’s the only way to ­success again.”

Sissoko managed to play his way back into form and favour at Tottenham, with the 30-year-old midfielder rewarded for that turnaround with a new contract through to 2023.

He hopes to act as an inspiration to others, with current club colleague Tanguy Ndombele among those who need to remain patient and confident in their own ability.

“I was proud to be given a new contract, especially because of how it was for me at the beginning at Spurs,” Sissoko, who moved to north London from Newcastle in 2016, added. 

“That means I deserve it because of my work. I stayed focused, I never gave up and that’s why the new contract came. When you get to 30, maybe it’s not what Tottenham [usually] do, so I can only be happy. I’m a good example [for Tanguy].

“If this kind of [difficult] situation happens with Tanguy, I will tell him to follow the same way. But at the moment there’s no reason to worry. He’s focused only on his work. He has a lot of injuries since he came but he’s doing well and this week he’s back with us [in training].

“He reminds me of myself because when I came to England with Newcastle I couldn’t speak any English and it wasn’t easy.”

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