PSG Season Preview – will the Paris giants bounce back?

After last season’s poor domestic and European run, it’s fair to say that there has been cause for concern at the Paris club. Losing their Ligue 1 crown to their principality rivals Monaco, as well as being unceremoniously dumped out of the last 16 of the Champions League, PSG’s Qatari’s owners now have an even greater mandate to splash the cash in this summer’s transfer window.

With Neymar joining the French outfit for a ludicrous fee of 222 million euros, it must be said that PSG’s financial dealings are bordering on the insane. The seemingly limitless transfer expenditure will undoubtedly appease the fans, but the question remains as to whether it will bring about the success that evaded them during last season’s fruitless campaign.

Don’t forget, the Parisian’s squad was star-studded before the arrival of Neymar – yet they still managed to end their four-season long title winning streak. A lot of work is ahead for Unai Emery.

PSG’s domestic title win has become almost a certainty in recent years, and so to see their crown stolen by Leo Jardim’s free scoring Monaco side was without question a shock to the system. Trailing behind the principality club for the majority of the season, PSG were undeniably second best with Jardim’s men running out as deserved winners.

However, despite problems at home, things looked promising in Europe, with Emery’s side qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League. Taking a 4-0 home leg win into the away leg with Catalan giants Barcelona, victory on aggregate seemed inevitable. Still, a catastrophic breakdown during the final ten minutes saw the French side lose 6-1 on the night and 6-5 on aggregate, leaving the French outfit disconsolate at the final whistle.

Nevertheless, despite last season’s disappointments the Paris side have reasons to be optimistic. Their title rivals Monaco have had some of their star players poached by top Premier League clubs, with left back Benjamin Mendy and winger Bernardo Silva joining Manchester City, as well as the influential Tiemoue Bakayoko leaving for Chelsea. In addition, with the loss of Valerie Germain to Marseille, and questions over the future of 18-year-old goal machine Kylian Mbappe, it seems unlikely that the principality club will repeat the title success of last season.

On the other hand, PSG’s signing of the multi-talented right back Dani Alves will likely boost the squad’s potential. Serving as an indispensable component in Juventus’s Scudetto and Coppa Italia triumph last season, the Brazilian full back will undoubtedly play a crucial role in any success that the Paris side has next season.


Furthermore, and probably most notably, the Parisians have secured the signature of Barcelona winger Neymar. Those on the Paris side were willing to pay around 222 million euros for the Brazilian forward, which has sparked a great deal of controversy between Barcelona directors and themselves, as the Catalan club refused to do one on one business with the French club.

Barcelona stated that they would make an appeal to Financial Fair Play regulators regarding the possibility of PSG’s breach of FFP rules. Regardless of monetary disputes, however, the acquisition of the Brazilian winger unquestionably gives the Paris side the required ammunition to take back their domestic crown, and possibly give them the attacking muscle to mount a realistic Champions League title challenge.

With their principality rivals on the slide and big names arriving at the Parc des Princes, all logic would dictate that the conditions are in place for Paris Saint-Germain to stage a revival this coming season. Regaining the Ligue 1 title will surely be the primary objective, in addition to their bid to finally become a dominant force in Europe’s top club competition. Time will tell however, but it must be said that with their wild approach to spending in the transfer market, a sustainable return to winning ways is always likely to be a distinct possibility.

Tito Domenico Simonelli

Featured image courtesy of ‘Doha Stadium Plus Qatar’ via Flickr. License here.

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