Dimitri Payet defends Man United record signing Paul Pogba

The West Ham midfielder hails Paul Pogba's performances for France

Dimitri Payet has praised Paul Pogba for staying “strong and calm” despite recent criticism of the Manchester United midfielder.

The France international helped France to record back-to-back victories during the international break after les Bleus beat Belarus and the Netherlands in their 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Pogba moved to Manchester United in an £89m deal from Serie A giants Juventus in the summer in what was a world-record transfer.

However, the 23-year-old has only scored one goal in six Premier League appearances so far, netting in a 4-1 win against reigning Premier League champions Leicester City.

West Ham midfielder Payet has leaped to the defence of his international team-mate following recent criticism of the four-time Serie A winner.

“There is a lot of expectation around him – it doesn’t help him. He’s been attacked a lot, but he has stayed strong and calm – and he put in a performance that was worthy of the greats,” Payet told The Daily Mirror.

Pogba won four successive Serie A titles during a four-year stay in Turin.

The France midfielder moved to Juventus in an £800,000 deal from United in 2012 under Sir Alex Ferguson.

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The Red Devils will make the trip to bitter Premier League rivals Liverpool on Monday night.

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