Paris Saint-Germain got their first run-out in the preseason today against Wiener Sport-Club, much to the relief of us game-starved supporters. We ran out with a comfortable 3-0 scoreline, but with most of our players out on leave, PSG fielded the most youth-centric team in some time. Below are a few of my take-aways from the match.
With three assists on the day, the headlines may rightfully point to Digne’s productivity, but I’ll point to his positioning. Despite the admittedly low quality of the opposition, Digne tirelessly worked up and down the left flank, not just putting in good crosses but constantly harassing the opposition into turning the ball over. One of my favorite scenes from this friendly was seeing three or four of our youth putting pressure on an Austrian winger, who skillfully dodged them all…and then had the ball poked away from him by an onrushing Digne. He showed great composure and carried the captain’s armband well. Astute readers will note that it’s not the first time a maligned player has gotten off to a great start in preseason, and if it turns out anything like that…
The 17-year-old was hardly a household name before this match, but one of the many successful under-19 products in a productive last season. Certainly, though, his name didn’t rank among established talents like Jean-Kevin Augustin. Regardless, he took his chance in the first-chance very well, marshaling the midfield and soothing the few among us who wondered if we’d miss Yohan Cabaye. The youngster may be judged too young to make an appearance in the first-team this coming season, but after this confident display, one would hope he’d get a chance in a cup game!
It’s not often you hear his name mentioned without the words “highly rated” or “talented” added, but this time we actually saw the man in action. He didn’t disappoint, showing good technical ability on the ball and marking two goals on the day. Productive, and hopefully the start of a long and happy relationship with the first-team. Augustin made the bench many times last season, and fans will be hoping to see him make substitute action, perhaps in the same manner as Jean-Christophe Bahebeck (though hopefully without the injury).
After a disastrous season spent on loan with Bastia, Ongenda, a talented and versatile young forward, will be happy to be anywhere but Corsica. Despite not getting on the scoresheet, he played well in link-up and he ought to find himself on loan at a Ligue 2 club, where he can get regular game-time and develop far more than he did last season.
Of course, arguably the biggest winner is the academy system itself. All of our youngsters played well and showed very nice touches on the ball. Unrefined, but talented. Shows we’re learning from Kingsley Coman’s departure.
Absent amidst rumors of an €11 million departure to Roma—arguably in both parties’ interests – Kevin Trapp’s comfortable senior debut will do little to make Salvatore Sirigu any more comfortable with the situation. With Nicolas Douchez an unused substitute who deserves more football, Sirigu desperate to contend for his Italy place, and Trapp an eager new arrival, something must be done about this ménage à trois in goal.
Much as I absolutely adore the youngster, he took it slow in this friendly game and came off an early substitute. His good form screeched to a halt last season after an injury that required surgery; Lucas’ absence in the Copa America may have broken his heart, but this leaves him with plenty of time to nurse himself back to health and take full advantage of the preseason. Champion mon frere!
Did we miss something? Have a question or comment, or rabid disagreement? Hit us up at @PSGTalk on twitter.
Follow Dave on Twitter @3Tscroat