Since Qatar Sports Investments took over Paris Saint-Germain in 2011, the goal has always been to win the UEFA Champions League.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet despite an obscene amount of money being spent over the years on transfers. Last season was the closest PSG came to lifting the Champions League trophy but they lost 1-0 to FC Bayern Munich in the final.
The current squad isn’t that far off from being considered one of the favorites to win the title this season, according to these tips. With the likes of Kylian Mbappé, Neymar Jr., Mauro Icardi, Marco Verratti, Marquinhos, and Angel Di Maria in the starting lineup, the quarter-finals are the bare minimum that should be accepted but as we’ve seen in the past, PSG can flame out when you least expect it and cost betters a lot of money.
Despite all of that star power, there is still something holding PSG back from being able to compete with Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus FC, and the other European super clubs in the Champions League: full-backs.
For a club as rich as PSG and as talented as they are in the attack, it’s completely unacceptable that their full-back situation, arguably the most important in modern football, is so bad. In my opinion, PSG will not win a Champions League title until they upgrade the position in the transfer market.
Right now, PSG relies on Alessandro Florenzi at right-back with Colin Dagba and Thilo Kehrer serving as backups. Florenzi has been decent this season and he is one of the best in the squad at crossing the ball into the box when he gets forward. With that said, he’s not an elite right-back. If he was, he wouldn’t be at PSG on loan from AS Roma. I would like Florenzi a whole lot more if he was the backup.
When you assess the actual backups, you realize Dagba spent much of last season injured and is largely unproven under the bright lights of the Champions League. Kehrer got his chance last season and we saw him exposed numerous times against top competition.
You have to feel like PSG missed an opportunity last summer when Achraf Hakimi was available on the market. He ultimately signed with Inter Milan. There are several right-backs that PSG has been reportedly tracking since last summer and you have to wonder if they’ll pull the trigger and pull off a much-needed signing.
At left-back, the situation is pretty close to an absolute dumpster fire. Juan Bernat has performed above and beyond what anyone imagined when he arrived from Bayern Munich in 2018, but he suffered a serious knee injury earlier this year, and quite frankly, no one knows if he’ll be able to return to his previous form.
Bernat’s injury leaves the left-back duties to Mitchel Bakker (a fine, up-and-coming player), Layvin Kurzawa (the less said the better), and Abdou Diallo (not even a natural left-back).
If Leonardo, PSG’s sporting director, doesn’t sign a left-back in the January transfer window, I’m going to start seriously questioning his abilities to surround Neymar and Mbappé with the teammates they need to succeed. It’s such a glaring hole in the squad that I don’t know how you seriously say you’re trying to win the Champions League and that is your left-back situation.
The Round of 16 of the Champions League begins next month and PSG is facing the prospect of taking on FC Barcelona with Florenzi and Bakker, most likely, starting at right-back and left-back. That’s simply not good enough and all eyes will be on Leonardo as the remainder of the January transfer window ticks away.
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