Why PSG Might Regret Not Moving Sooner For Lille’s Leny Yoro

The competition to sign Lille OSC wunderkind Leny Yoro is starting to heat up, with Paris Saint-Germain occupying one of the places closest to the front of the queue for the 18-year-old. However, the French champions are not alone in keeping a close eye on the under-21 international defender, with the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich also credited with interest in him.

The situation is similar in many ways to the one seen back in 2011 when a young Raphael Varane broke through with LOSC’s northern rivals RC Lens and was snapped up by the Spanish giants. Now with Manchester United, the former France international enjoyed immense success in Spain as well as with Les Bleus, including the FIFA 2018 World Cup and a run to the 2022 final in Qatar. Varane could even become a player of interest for the January transfer window, given his situation at Old Trafford, should PSG’s lack of defensive depth due to key absences continue into 2024.

Les Parisiens cannot risk losing out on another top defensive talent taking the first steps in what could be a storied career in Ligue 1, and Yoro also hails from the Parisian suburb of Saint-Maurice. Adrien Rabiot is another notable son of the Val-de-Marne commune to have written his name at Parc des Princes, and the French giants’ project is more than ever geared towards domestic talent.

Read the full article at PSG Talk Extra Time on Substack.

Standout performer Yoro is unlikely to leave Lille this January, with Les Dogues faring reasonably well under Paulo Fonseca across Le Championnat and also in the UEFA Europa Conference League. With that in mind, PSG might already have to consider a January move for the teenage sensation, which would see him remain at Stade Pierre Mauroy until at least next summer to develop further.

Which positions the Ligue 1 leaders might need to strengthen come the winter window is not yet clear, given that Presnel Kimpembe and Nuno Mendes are both working their way back to fitness. Should one or both be back in action before late January, it would lessen the real need for reinforcements and could open up the possibility of a strategic signing for the future, like Yoro.

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PSG’s recent decision to action Gonçalo Ramos’ option to buy outright from SL Benfica suggests that finances are not as strained as they were when Randal Kolo Muani was signed late in the summer. There are also some peripheral figures expected to move this coming January, with the unwanted Hugo Ekitiké chief among those names having refused to join Eintracht Frankfurt as Kolo Muani moved.

None of this is beneficial as far as defensive options go, though, with Kimpembe and Mendes’ fitness key questions ahead of the second half of the season under Luis Enrique. Should the France and Portugal internationals be fit for early 2024, PSG should feel generally happy with squad depth as well as competition for places in and around the starting XI. Realistically, though, how fit will Kimpembe and Mendes be when they return, and how quickly can they be somewhere close to their best condition given their respective lengthy injury layoffs?

It is a tough question to answer with Mendes, a particular concern given his recent surgery and the fact that there is only really Lucas Hernández to play at left back until he is operational again. Both defenders have UEFA Euro 2024 hopes despite France and Portugal’s impressive form without them, but we will not know how realistic those are until they finally get back out onto the field.

Read the full article at PSG Talk Extra Time on Substack.

Tags Leny Yoro Lille OSC
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