Manchester United's Paul Pogba Diagnosed with COVID-19; Removed from France Team

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2020

Manchester United's Paul Pogba during the Europa League round of 16 second leg soccer match between Manchester United and LASK at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)
Dave Thompson/Associated Press

Manchester United star Paul Pogba has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and removed from the France national team squad for their upcoming UEFA Nations League matches against Sweden and Croatia.

According to ESPN, France manager Didier Deschamps announced the news Thursday: "Paul Pogba was initially on the list but unfortunately for him, he underwent a test yesterday which turned out to be positive this morning."

France's match against Sweden is scheduled for Sept. 5, and their clash with Croatia is set for Sept. 8.

Pogba also figures to miss the start of Manchester United's preseason training, which begins Sept. 2. The Red Devils' first match of the season is scheduled for Sept. 19 against Crystal Palace.

The 27-year-old is about to enter his fifth season with United after returning to Manchester from Juventus in 2016. Pogba enjoyed a career year in 2018-19 with 13 goals in 35 EPL matches, but he was limited to 16 matches last season and scored only once.

An ankle injury that required surgery was the main reason for Pogba missing time and being far less effective than usual last season.

Pogba has shown throughout his career that he is among the most talented players in the world when healthy, especially on the international stage.

He was named as the Best Young Player at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and helped France win the World Cup four years later, in which he scored a goal in the final against Croatia.

France's depth will be tested without Pogba in the lineup for the UEFA Nations League matches, and the same can be said for Manchester United if Pogba isn't back in time for the start of the 2020-21 EPL season.