5 things PSG got wrong in 2017
Winning Coupe de France isn't enough to gloss over PSG's failure this year.
Barcelona love to insert buyout clauses that are beyond anyone’s imagination. This manoeuvre is to discourage clubs from eyeing talk less of signing the Catalans' cherished players. However, PSG prove that anything that commands a price is buyable. So, in what was their highlight of 2017, PSG signed Neymar for a world record fee, more than twice the amount Manchester United paid for the previous record holder: Paul Labile Pogba.
Signing Neymar was a statement of intent by PSG because they needed that player with the infamous ‘X-factor’ to help propel them to the zenith of European football. Despite this two-hundred-million-pound outlay, 2017 was a year to forget for PSG.
Without further ado, here are the five things PSG didn’t get right that negatively impacted their 2017.
#5 Selling Blaise Matuidi to Juventus
Tenacious, industrious, driven, and with the occasional goals, Matuidi is one of the best box-to-box midfielders on the planet. So, eyebrows were raised when PSG decided to let go of such an experienced midfielder.
Although the player claimed he needed a new challenge, it appears PSG didn’t try hard to persuade him to stay. After all, this is a club which didn’t change its stance when Adrien Rabiot requested a transfer, meaning PSG didn’t show similar faith in Matuidi.
And that decision is likely to cost them when the going gets tough. And yes, the road is only going to get bumpier for PSG, as indicated by the relative ease with which Bayern dealt with them at the Alliance Arena and the fact that they’ve been paired with Madrid in the round of 16 of this season’s UEFA Champions League.
Make no mistake about Real Madrid’s form; they have a habit of peaking at the latter stages of the season. So, if PSG manages to get past Real Madrid, other teams are lying in wait. This is when PSG will need Matuidi’s authority the most since concerns have been raised about this PSG’s star-studded squad's lack of leaders.
Even questions have been raised about Thiago Silva’s leadership qualities. And in Matuidi, PSG had a leader with guts and grit. So, when the time comes for someone to galvanise the squad, Neymar, Verratti, Di Maria, Areola, Cavani, and Rabiot won’t be the ones to do it.
Well, PSG’s loss is Juventus’s gain.