One of Paris Saint-Germain’s weaknesses in the starting eleven for the past few seasons was the full-back positions. However, this past summer, the capital club finally decided to address both roles, and to fix the left-back spot, they brought in Nuno Mendes.
The French giants reportedly paid an €8-million loan fee, and this summer, they’ll need to exercise the €40-million option to make the move to the Ligue 1 side a permanent one.
In an interview with So Foot, Mendes’ former coach at Sporting CP, Leonel Pontes, spoke about his thoughts on the 19-year-old. Pontes stated right off the bat the qualities that made him a unique talent at such a young age.
“When I first saw him, I was impressed with his speed, his attacking input, his ability to cross, and his mentality. He had a lot of difficulty defending. He had problems on one-on-one, defending the interior space or even playing with a header (…) A lot of players with potential joined a big club and did not play,” Pontes said.
“There, Nuno left Lisbon for Paris, Sporting for PSG. It’s a big change. What made me optimistic is that PSG are an offensive team, and Nuno is an attacking player. He’s a full-back, but he’s an offensive player. And then I believe that with good players, Nuno becomes an even better player.”
Pontes continued by saying how fellow Portuegse compatriot Danilo Pereira has played the big brother role in helping the teenager get accustomed to his new challenge.
“I called Danilo before Nuno arrived to tell him to take care of him. Danilo is a leader, a captain, and it’s very important for Nuno to have him with him. Its adaptation to Paris was facilitated by Danilo,” Pontes said.
It’s a no-brainer that PSG will keep the teenager, especially of his performance in the first leg win over Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.