Last season was a disappointing one for the Paris Saint-Germain defense. In 38 Ligue 1 matches, a back line that features Thiago Silva and David Luiz allowed 36 goals. That’s one goal every 95 minutes. For a club with aspirations of winning the Champions League, where away goals weigh so heavily, the defense must be improved. Many supporters expect the two experienced Brazilian defenders to raise their level of play but it might be the 21-year-old Marquinhos who will turn out to be PSG’s savior.
There were flashes of Marquinhos’ ability last season. Most notably against Barcelona in the group stages of the Champions League where he had a crucial block against Jordi Alba. In that match he held his own against Neymar, Lionel Messi, and Luis Suarez, three of the most feared attackers in the world. He has proven to be one of the best young defenders in all of Europe and it should come as no surprise that Real Madrid is rumored to be interested in him.
PSG know what what a special talent they have in Marquinhos. In March they gave the versatile defender a contract extension that will run until the end of the 2018-19 season. He appears to be comfortable in the squad with fellow Brazilians, Silva, Luiz, and Lucas Moura. He routinely appears in videos from the club joking with Lucas and you can tell he’s enjoying his time in Paris.
Marquinhos is immensely talented but he’s young and prone to mistakes still. It will be important for Silva and Luiz to mentor him this season so that he doesn’t experience a dip in form. If he can stay fit and continue to improve, there’s no question that Paris Saint-Germain have their center back of the future.