Paris Saint-Germain have their left-back of the future.
On Thursday the club officially announced the signing of Layvin Kurzawa from AS Monaco for a reported €23 million. The France international arrives full of potential, but he will have to earn his playing time as Maxwell’s stellar form makes him the clear first choice at left-back.
— PSG English (@PSG_English) August 27, 2015
Despite his age, the Brazilian’s incredible consistency and shining injury-free record left Parisian faithful without any worries on the left side since his arrival. Unfortunately, it also left Lucas Digne without much opportunity to usurp him, albeit with good reason. The Kurzawa deal comes as a direct response to the former Lille man’s departure on loan for a reported fee of €1.5 million with a further €16.5 million required for making the move permanent. In case you’re not keeping track, that’s more than the club paid Toulouse FC for Serge Aurier and would net a profit for PSG on a player that has been one of the biggest flops in recent history. It’s almost an absurdly good deal and I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t be happy with it.
— AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) August 26, 2015
Despite some impressive preseason performances, Digne wasn’t quite cut out to challenge Maxwell, and Italy might be just the place to help rebuild his confidence (not to mention his reputation). Kurzawa, meanwhile, has spent the last two years making headlines. Though maybe not all positive, particularly when he and the rest of the Under-21 France squad crashed out of the Euros to eventual winners Sweden, his performance in an incredible aggregate victory over Arsenal in last year’s Champions League knockouts has made him a hot commodity in Europe. At just 22, he’s the same age as Digne but with much more of the composure that marks a player ready to take on continental football.
The project was the main reason that convinced me to join. Paris showed a real desire to sign me and in my opinion, you don’t turn down Paris Saint-Germain! – Layvin Kurzawa, PSG.fr
The transfer—maybe my favorite buy of the summer—seems like a win-win for all involved. Digne gets first team football in a team with less pressure (he can’t be worse than Ashley Cole, after all) and Kurzawa joins PSG at an age where Maxwell can mentor the young international. Kurzawa can be marauding and overwhelmingly physical, but remains intelligent enough defensively to not be a liability. In many ways Kurzawa is similar to Aurier, and if he has the same kind of start to his PSG career as the Ivorian has enjoyed, the Parc faithful will quickly fall in love with their new defender.
For now, the back-line and bench look stronger than ever, and the team continues to build a powerful core. Heading into the weekend, Paris Saint-Germain will face their first significant test of the season against Kurzawa’s old club. Monaco replaced Kurzawa with Fabio Coentrao on loan from Real Madrid and will want to prove that selling to their Ligue 1 rivals was no mistake.