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Emirates FA Cup: Conte Fears Pogba, Plays Down Kante Comparison



Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is fearful of the world most expensive player, Paul Pogba’s impact in Monday’s FA Cup quarter-final, warning his players to pay “great attention” to the Manchester United midfielder.
A world-record signing from Italian champions Juventus, Pogba has struggled for consistency since returning to Old Trafford ahead of United’s trip to Stamford Bridge.
Pogba came in for criticism following United’s 1-1 Premier League draw against Bournemouth last week but Conte – who lured the France international to Turin in 2012 during his time in charge of Juve – is more than aware of the 23-year-old’s quality.
“We are talking about a top, top player. A top player in all situations,” Conte said.
“Also in his commitment in training, trying to improve him, good technique, physically strong, great stamina.
“We must pay great attention to him, above all when he arrives in the box.”
While wary of Pogba, Conte is not focused on one player as the Premier League leaders try to end United’s FA Cup title defence in London.
“We are working to try to find the right solution for the whole team, not only for Paul Pogba. Not only for one player,” Conte added.
“It was the same against West Ham, when we played against Andy Carroll, and there were questions about whether we would try and stop him.
“For sure, we are studying Manchester United to try and find the right solution. But we must think about the whole Manchester United team. They’re very strong.”
Conte also dismissed comparisons between Pogba and fellow France international N’Golo Kante, who continues to take the Premier League by storm following his arrival from champions Leicester City.
“They are two different players with different characteristics,” the Italian said.
“I think it’s very difficult to try and compare Paul with N’Golo, two players with different characteristics. Two great players, but different.”

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and the country’s most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022.

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