This season, Paris Saint-Germain had one of the deepest and most talented squads in Europe. However, with several players leaving on a free transfer and others likely to be sold after the season, the Ligue 1 champions will need to bring in some reinforcements.
The biggest pain-point in the squad as currently constructed is the full-back positions. I suppose it could be worse. The club could have players with gambling issues as detailed in this article by Planet 7 casino, but I digress.
According to PSG manager, Thomas Tuchel, Juan Bernat, Abdou Diallo, and Layvin Kurzawa are solid options at left-back, but with Thomas Meunier already agreeing to a contract with Borussia Dortmund, a new right-back will need to be signed once the transfer window opens.
“We already have Juan Bernat, Abdou Diallo too. But we must say that Layvin Kurzawa had a very good season. He was very reliable,” Tuchel said. “If we have the opportunity to have Layvin and Juan, we will be very strong in this position. If Layvin can extend, that’s fine for me. On the right, however, it will be necessary to find a solution to replace Thomas Meunier.”
With Meunier gone, that leaves Thilo Kehrer and Colin Dagba as the only two options at right-back. Kehrer is more of a natural center-back and Dagva has been injured since earlier this year when he went down with a knee injury.
Kehrer will be able to start at right-back to close out the 2019-20 season but going into the club’s 50th season in existence (2020-21), they’ll need to bring in a player who can start from day one.
There have been several names linked with a move to the French capital but I think Leonardo, PSG’s sporting director, should take a good look at Atalanta BC’s Timothy Castagne. He has one year left on his contract and in a recent interview, he stated that he would have a hard time turning down PSG.
Not only has Castagne played an interictal part in Atalanta’s recent success, but he’s a very versatile footballer as well. The Belgium international is a natural right-back but can fill in at left-back and can even move into the right side of the midfield if needed. It definitely seems like PSG would get the most bang for their buck (€16 million market value according to Transfermarkt) if they signed Castagne.
Achraf Hakimi would have been at the top of my wish list for PSG but the Real Madrid defender is reportedly closing in on a permanent move to Inter Milan. Another highly-rated right-back is Sergiño Dest, but PSG will face plenty of competition for his signature.
Castagne appears to be the perfect combination of quality, price, versatility, and desire to be in Paris. Leonardo should scoop him up before someone else does. Besides PSG, Castagne also has an interest in Tottenham whereas Napoli also want his services.
It is easy to see why the Belgium international is in great demand. Last season, the defender was pivotal in helping Atalanta clinch a Champions League spot and finish third in Serie A. His greatest strength was being able to defend solidly while also creating counterattacking chances when needed.
His fast-paced, strong and versatile nature ensured he had a passing rate of above 80%, played in 28 games and contributed to six goals—he scored four and created two assists. He was indeed one of the best right backs in Serie A in the 2018/19 season.
As a result, he also earned the right to participate in European football, appearing in five champions League games in Atalanta’s debut at the competition. Owing to his stellar performance at club level, the right-wing defender attract the attention of the Belgian national team.
He got his first cap in a friendly against Scotland, entering as a starter. He would go on to create his first assist on March 2019 in a 3-1 win against Russia during the Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Castagne scored his first goal for Belgium on June last year scoring the second goal in a 3-0 win against Kazakhstan. He scored his second later October in a 9-0 blowout win against San Marino.
The 24-year returned for the final year of his contract last September hoping to have yet another impressive season. He’s so far appeared in seventeen games and scored once in Serie A. He’s also participated in five Champions League Games and scored once.
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