Mid-Season Review: Rating Neymar, Mbappé, and Rest of PSG’s Squad

Paris Saint-Germain players return from the holiday break on January 2 where they will resume training and prepare for ESA Linas-Montlhery in the Round of 64 of the Coupe de France three days later.

It’s a busy start to the second half of the season but before we look too far ahead, it’s important to analyze how individual players have performed so far.

With that in mind, I have listed all of the PSG players who have made at least five appearances this season. The rating scale will go from 1 (abysmal) to 10 (outstanding). Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if you agree and what changes you would make to my ratings.

Goalkeeper

Keylor Navas – 9

The former Real Madrid goalkeeper has been a revelation this season so far. He made 10 stops against Los Blancos in the UEFA Champions League this season and has been a consistent shot-blocker throughout the Ligue 1 campaign. He’s arguably the best goalkeeper PSG has had during the Qatar Sports Investments era.

Keylor Navas

JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Defenders

Thiago Silva – 8

Silva has turned back time this season through his incredible performances and has done enough to earn a contract extension even though one hasn’t been offered yet. The 35-year-old is playing like he wants to close out his career with a Champions League title.

Presnel Kimpembe – 5

Kimpembe worked all summer to come back from his injury and it was heartbreaking to see him suffer a significant hamstring injury earlier this month. The injury will keep him out until January and hopefully the Frenchman can return to form.

Thilo Kehrer – 2

Kehrer’s mystery foot injury has kept him out for the entire season except for the final two Ligue 1 games of 2019. It’s a shame because he has an important role to play. He can fill in at right-back for Thomas Meunier and be more of the player in that position that the manager is looking for.

Marquinhos – 8

When the supporters hoist a tifo with your likeness on it, you know you’re doing something right. From center-back to a defensive midfielder, Marquinhos does whatever it takes to help the team and he’s been one of the most important players of the first half of the season.

Thomas Meunier – 6

Meunier has been average at best and is usually the first name PSG supporters bring up when talking about players they want to see sold. Truth is, he hasn’t been that bad during the first half of the season. With Colin Dagba missing time, he’s one of the natural right-backs the manager can rely on. Plus, he has this uncanny ability to score important goals as he did against Real Madrid in the 3-0 win.

Juan Bernat – 7

Bernat is perhaps the most underrated player in the squad. He’s played a lot of minutes this season (21 total appearances) and has six assists to his name. No one would confuse the Spaniard as one of the best left-backs in the world, but he’s consistent and able to put in a cross for PSG’s dangerous attackers. That’s exactly what PSG needs from him.

Layvin Kurzawa – 3

There have been times this season that Kurzawa didn’t even make the squad for a match despite being healthy. He’s played against lower-level Ligue 1 teams mostly to give Bernat a break and the Frenchman could be on the move in January.

Abdou Diallo – 5

The Frenchman isn’t one of the first center-backs chosen but the manager and that explains his mediocre rating. He’s primarily filled in due to injury or to give players like Silva a break at center-back. Diallo is a useful player to have in the squad but hasn’t had a chance to stand out yet.

Colin Dagba – 5

Dagba signed an extension with PSG in early October but unfortunately, the Frenchman has been battling injury this season like so many players this season. The right-back position was thought to be his but he may need to earn that role once he’s healthy during the second half of the season.

Midfielders

Marco Verratti – 8

Verratti signed a three-year extension at PSG in October and I probably should have rated him higher just for that. He’s been the constant metronome in PSG’s midfield and is one of the first names on the manager’s team sheet. With an attack-minded squad full of stars, Verratti has been the tenacious midfielder PSG needs to win the ball back and launch the attack.

Marco Verratti

JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Leandro Paredes – 6

Some may rate Paredes lower but I think PSG’s last three games are where we really got to see the Argentine’s quality. He only recorded one assist against AS Saint-Étienne but we started to see glimpses of why PSG paid €45 million for his services per Reuters.

Angel Di Maria – 9

Along with Mauro Icardi, Di Maria deserves a lot of credit for where PSG is right now in the season. He’s been uncharacteristically consistent with 10 goals and 12 assists in 24 appearances and the only worry is this is the best we’ll see and he’ll tail off in the second half of the season.

Pablo Sarabia – 6

I was very high on Sarabia coming into the season. He had a great year with Sevilla FC and his pre-season with PSG led me to believe he would be an absolute steal. His slow start dampened expectations but the Spaniard is starting to turn things around and his crucial goal against Real Madrid in the Champions League was perhaps his most memorable moment.

Ander Herrera – 3

The Spaniard was perhaps the best bit of business PSG did all last summer but unfortunately, the former Manchester United midfielder has only made 11 appearances all season due to injury.

Julian Draxler – 4

No one denies Draxler’s quality but a foot injury cost him close to two months to start the season and with PSG opting for a 4-4-2 formation lately, the German is struggling to find playing time. The former VfL Wolfsburg and Schalke 04 midfielder could be headed back to the Bundesliga in January.

Idrissa Gueye – 7

The former Everton FC midfielder started out strong in the French capital but a hamstring injury has slowed down his development. He was overwhelmed in the away match against Real Madrid and was taken off at halftime for Neymar.

Strikers

Kylian Mbappé – 9

Mbappé falls short of a perfect 10 because of a hamstring injury that kept him out for close to a month. Since returning, he’s been on fire scoring 18 goals in 19 total appearances.

Kylian Mbappe

FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Edinson Cavani – 3

PSG’s all-time leading scorer has been dreadful this season so far. A lot of it is due to injury but when Cavani has been given playing time, he’s missed easy chances and is showing his 34 years of age.

Neymar Jr. – 9

If Neymar didn’t miss a month due to injury, I probably would have given him a 10. He’s been brilliant on the pitch and professional off. Given everything that happened last summer with FC Barcelona, few would have expected a circus-free season so far.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – 4

Choupo got off to a great start to the season scoring three goals in two games against Toulouse FC and FC Metz, but with PSG’s attacking options, he’s struggled to find playing time.

Mauro Icardi – 10

For me, Icardi is the player of the year so far with 14 goals in 18 appearances. He’s carried the team while Neymar and Mbappé missed a significant amount of time due to injury.

Manager

Thomas Tuchel – 8

It’s hard to rate the manager any lower because of PSG’s current standing in Ligue 1 and topping the Champions League group over Real Madrid. I did dock him points for taking Mbappé off the pitch unnecessarily in the 90th minutes against Montpellier HSC.

Thomas Tuchel

FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

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Tags Abdou Diallo Ander Herrera Angel Di Maria Champions League Colin Dagba Edinson Cavani Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting Idrissa Gueye Juan Bernat Julian Draxler Keylor Navas Kylian Mbappé Layvin Kurzawa Leandro Paredes Ligue 1 Marco Verratti Marquinhos Mauro Icardi Neymar Pablo Sarabia Presnel Kimpembe Thiago Silva Thilo Kehrer Thomas Meunier Thomas Tuchel

1 Comment

  1. Sahbaz says:

    Fantastic article

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