On the face of it, life for PSG has never been sweeter. Until recently the Parisians were far from giants of the French game, despite being the only side in the capital. Now they have four back to back league titles, with their most recent one was wrapped up in record time.
The team from the capital have once again crashed out of the Champions League in the quarter finals, and their success remains limited to the annual domestic title and cup. For most teams this would be enough, but PSG’s owners are more ambitious, and the club know a European title is needed if they can rank themselves amongst the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Following a defeat at the hands of Man City, PSG are back to the drawing board this summer. But what can the club realistically do?
While it may be sacrilege to say this, but the main change the Paris club need to make is a replacement for King Zlatan. The Swedish sensation is 34 now and clearly into his twilight years, and a younger replacement is required.
In fact, the whole PSG forward line pales in comparison to that of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Angel Di Maria still hasn’t replicated the sensational form of Real’s Decima year, and Edinson Cavani hasn’t been the world beater he was promised to be.
The ideal candidate is Neymar, whose agent recently told L’Equipe “the prospect of living in a city like Paris and to play for a club like PSG is also a dream for every player.”
While that is a fairly typical sound bite for an agent to give to the press, it does imply there is a degree of interest from the Neymar camp, that PSG could look to exploit. Neymar is one of the best athletes in the world and PSG remain one of the few clubs who could prise him away from Barcelona.
If Neymar doesn’t work out, there are a number of other potential candidates, from Atletico’s Antoine Griezmann to Karim Benzema or even Sergio Agüero, amidst reports that Guardiola wants to bring Polish striker Robert Lewandowksi to Man City with him in the summer.
PSG’s defence may also need work following the bizarre series of outbursts from Serge Aurier, and persistent rumours that Marquinhos wants to leave the club, which would be a great loss to the team.
The midfield remains strong, with young Adrien Rabiot maturing into the player many pundits predicted he would be, and fitting in well amongst Matuidi and Verratti, who remain the beating heart of the Parisians.
The most important thing for PSG is to continue to build, and their ability to improve on Zlatan this summer will be a great indicator of just how real their challenge on Europe is.
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