We’re a little more than halfway through Paris Saint-Germain’s season but questions regarding Unai Emery’s preferred starting lineup still remain.
The team has been in impressive form since the start of the year but the first half of the season has been largely disappointing with many members of the team suffered fluctuating rises and dips in form. Having said that, a few players stand out from the crowd and have certainly made themselves indispensable for Emery this term.
The Uruguayan is the most obvious choice here. He has been in excellent form scoring 28 goals in all competitions for the club this season and there’s not much more you can expect from him.
With 18 goals between him and the next highest goal scorer on the team (Lucas Moura), there’s still a huge question mark about how to fill the void he’d leave if he were to pick up an injury. El Matador is clearly thriving in Emery’s system and is quieting the critics with every goal he scores.
There’s no doubt about it, Lucas can be inconsistent at times but you have to give the Brazilian credit for the impressive statistics he’s accumulated this season. He has been directly involved with the second most amount of goals for the club with 17 (10 goals and 7 assists via Transfermarkt.com) in all competitions. The number is even larger if you account for the number of own-goals and penalties he has instigated is accounted for.
Combine his impressive numbers with a constant willingness to contribute on the defensive end of the pitch and it’s easy to see why he’s been an routine presence in the side this season. His decision-making may be head-scratching at times but his contributions have been immense and deserve some credit.
Well, the Italian has been largely indispensable for a number of seasons now but this term he has evolved his game to fit Emery’s more direct style and has played an even more decisive role in attack as well. His offensive stats may not look impressive just yet with only 2 goals and 3 assists so far, but his progression on the pitch is clear and it’s only a matter of time before that side of his game improves even further.
Silva’s leadership qualities and reputation of being a top defender in Europe have both been called into question at times this season but no matter how you look at it, in a defense that has been shaky for large periods this season, he has been head-and-shoulders above the rest.
The Brazilian has had to make tweaks to his playing style following the transition to Emery’s system and has managed quite well. His improved contribution in front of goal has also been vital this season, sitting as the third highest goal scorer for the team with 5 goals so far.
There are certainly other players that standout but these four jump out as the ones who have adopted to Emery’s system and thrived the most under his tutelage. It will be interesting to see how these players perform as the matches get bigger and more important throughout the rest of the season.