Is Meunier PSG’s Best Signing of the Summer?

Signed for the relatively low sum of a reported €7 million, Thomas Meunier could go on to become the bargain buy of the summer for Paris Saint-Germain.

A relatively unknown player upon his arrival from Club Brugge KV, Meunier took PSG supporters by storm following his performances in the International Champions Cup.

The Belgium international’s brilliance was on display especially on the attacking end against Real Madrid and Leicester City F.C. and if preseason was any indication, there should be plenty more goals and assists to come this season.

Used more as an attacker earlier in his career, Meunier’s skill-set going forward is astonishing for a defender. He has the unique ability to strike the ball with either foot cleanly and is quite comfortable playing in the close to the center of pitch – a rare trait for fullbacks – in a manner reminiscent of Daniel Alves at his peak. At Club Brugge, he recorded an impressive 10 goals and 15 assists in 117 matches while playing at fullback via transfermarkt.

For all his talent joining the attack, Meunier is still a defender and when it comes to stopping people from scoring he’s relatively decent. Perhaps more important though is ability to provide competition for Serge Aurier who definitely needs it. Compared to the now departed Gregory van der Wiel, who Aurier rather hilariously scathed in that notorious Periscope session, Meunier is a step up in quality and will give the Ivorian a good run for his money.

At 6’4″, Meunier is much taller and clearly much better than Aurier on the attacking end of the pitch with the ball at his feet. While Aurier, who’s not bad with the ball himself, is more of a threat when attacking set pieces and world class when it comes to defending from the right-back position. The former Toulouse F.C. defender has a better overall game than Meunier and will no doubt remain the starter. Meunier, to his credit, admitted in a rather flattering manner that Aurier was a model for him before joining PSG.

The 24-year-old Meunier has implied that he won’t complain if he’s made to play second fiddle to Aurier, which makes things easier for new manager Unai Emery. However, while Meunier is saying all the right things this will be a fiercely contested battle and any dip in form from Aurier could lead to the Belgian taking his place. Hopefully, this will improve the play of both players in the process.

Paris could very well have two world class right-backs in their ranks, giving Emery a problem every manager wishes they had. Furthermore, in the event that Aurier’s trial which comes up in mid-September over an alleged altercation with police ends in an unfavorable manner for the club, Paris will be in safe hands.

For all the stick Olivier Létang, formerly PSG’s sporting director, and his team got for their handling of transfers, they definitely deserve praise for signing Meunier at a great price.

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Tags Serge Aurier Thomas Meunier Unai Emery
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