Thomas Tuchel answered questions on Friday for the first time since last March before the coronavirus pandemic shut down football across the world.
The German manager covered numerous topics (per Culture PSG), including the current state of the team now that we know Edinson Cavani, Thomas Meunier, Adil Aouchiche, and Tanguy Kouassi will depart the club after June 30.
“Are we going to miss these players? Yes because they are an absolutely important part to create the mood and the quality to reach the quarter-finals [of the UEFA Champions League]. We played with Edi and Kouassi, the same with Thomas Meunier, we lack their quality, it is clear and it is now more difficult in this competition. Clearly, yes. Impossible? No, because we are coming to the quarter-finals and I really hope that we can win the two difficult matches that are the cup finals, we will be able to win the competition like the other seven teams. Because we are here, it’s on a match, not a round trip, it’s a tournament and I’m convinced that we will be strong.”
“But in the beginning, these players will be missed, it’s clear. Now we have to prepare this team for the two finals and then find the same state of mind which was exceptional. We had a very strong team in the head, under pressure, and on the pitch. We had an extraordinary Champions League with everyone. It’s a bit different now and it will be more difficult yes.”
I can appreciate Tuchel’s comments and I’m sure those four players will like hearing from their manager how much they’ll be missed, but the fact of the matter is PSG can more than cover for their absences.
Mauro Icardi is a much better striker than Cavani. That’s just a fact. Adil Aouchiche never featured in the Champions League and won’t be a major loss as far as that competition goes. Tanguy Kouassi is talented but he came on in stoppage time in the 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund. You could argue that Meunier is a big loss as he’s typically the starting right-back but have you seen Thilo Kehrer’s arms lately? Let’s also not forget that it was the German who filled in for the suspended Meunier when PSG qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League win the win over Dortmund.
It’s never ideal to lose players mid-season like this but given PSG’s deep squad and the fact that Thiago Silva signed a temporary extension through August, I think Les Parisiens are more than equipped to handle the onslaught of games coming their way later this summer. However, Leonardo, PSG’s sporting director, has his hands full when it comes to signing talented players when the transfer window opens.
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