Paris St Germain

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Season Guide
2021/2022

Paris St Germain

In


Achraf Hakimi (def) (Inter); Danilo (mid) (Porto); Gigio Donnarumma (gk) (Milan); Gini Wijnaldum (mid) (Liverpool); Sergio Ramos (def) (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (att) (Barcelona)

Out


Mitchel Bakker (def) (Leverkusen); Alphonse Areola (gk) (West Ham, loan); Kays Ruiz-Atil (mid) (Barcelona); Marcin Bulka (gk) (Nice, loan); Garissone Innocent (gk) (Vannes)

PSG missed out on the Ligue 1 title last season and also fell at the Champions League semi-finals, making it a wholly unsatisfactory season for the Parisian side. Unsurprisingly, there has been a reaction, with the capital club extremely active in the summer transfer window. They have plundered the free transfer market especially well, with Gini Wijnaldum, Sergio Ramos and Gigio Donnarumma all arriving for no transfer fee. On top of that trio, in has come Achraf Hakimi from Inter – one of the most exciting right-back prospects in the world game. The latest arrival is of course Lionel Messi who left Barcelona in tears, appearing in a PSG shirt a few days later for the great unveiling in the French capital. Meanwhile, PSG have secured the long-term future of several key players, including Angel Di Maria and Neymar, although the failure of Kylian Mbappe to sign a new deal is an issue that could potentially dog their season and draw attention away from what is happening on the field. Certainly, PSG have no clear area of weakness currently – and arguably a bigger issue could be discontent from star players unable to get game time. Certainly, this threatens to be an issue in goal, where Donnarumma and Keylor Navas will square off. In defence, PSG look strong, with Marquinhos and Ramos the two foremost central options, flanked by Hakimi and Juan Bernat, who should be fit again in early September. Layvin Kurzawa will feature until then. There is a litany of options in the centre of the park, where Marco Verratti will once again be the anchor, with Wijnaldum expected to provide a little dynamism going forward that was missing at times last season. Depending how Mauricio Pochettino wants to play, he has various other options to fill the other berth. In attack, of course, PSG will be spearheaded by the mouthwatering trio of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Mbappe, with Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi playing supporting roles. Arnaud Kaliumuendo has impressed in pre-season.

Target


PSG will expect the title and a strong European run

Season Review
2020/2021

№2: Paris St Germain

Paris Saint-Germain’s season was a major disappointment as they missed out on all the major trophies they wanted, finishing as Ligue 1 runners up and being knocked out in the semi-finals of the Champions League as they were well beaten by Manchester City. The campaign was complicated by a poor start to the season, which saw them hampered by a combination of injuries, a Covid outbreak and fatigue following their run to the Champions League final in August. Although they were granted a one-week reprieve by the league, they lost early fixtures against Lens and Marseille 1-0, then struggled past Metz. Furthermore, they were not assured of their place in the Champions League knockout stages until matchday six, which meant that they were forced to give everything on a match-by-match basis, which strained a squad that was already tired. Even key players like Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were not necessarily themselves, and in the case of the Brazilian, he would struggle for game time throughout the season. Mbappe was the man who carried the squad, reaching the 40-goal barrier in all competitions over the course of the season for the first time in his career. While Moise Kean contributed more than expected, all of the other forward players were less effective. This was also the case in midfield, where key man Marco Verratti never really got going and Idrissa Gueye played in fits and starts, forcing regular changes and a lack of settled partnerships. In defence, Marquinhos was the star man but in the full-back areas PSG toiled as Juan Bernat missed the whole season and there was no obvious quality in these sectors. Ultimately the change in management in December, which saw Thomas Tuchel depart and Mauricio Pochettino arrive, did not yield the desired results. Pochettino will need the summer to drill his side in the style he wants them to play, but he needs support from sporting director Leonardo, who was the catalyst in Tuchel departing. This is a big summer coming up for PSG, as they seek to tie down Mbappe’s long-term future. The success or failure in that venture will have a big impact going ahead.


Player of the Season: Kylian Mbappe

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