How could PSG lineup with Leandro Paredes?
After much speculation about his future, Leandro Paredes has finally signed for Paris Saint-Germain from FC Zenit Saint Petersburg in a €45m deal. The likes of Chelsea were also interested in signing the Argentine midfielder as a replacement for Cesc Fabregas, who left for Monaco in the winter transfer window.
It is no secret that PSG lack quality central midfielders apart from Marco Verratti, with Marquinhos underperforming in the middle of the park and Dani Alves being used as a makeshift number 6. In such a situation, the arrival of Paredes might well be the solution to their midfield woes.
Paris Saint-Germain usually lineup in a 4-2-2-2 lineup with Verratti forming a double pivot with either Marquinhos or Dani Alves. However, the arrival of Paredes means that both Marquinhos and Alves would play in defence.
It is also important to note that Alves is not a typical outflanking fullback like Alba or Carvajal. He is more of an inverted fullback who has a tendency to tuck into the midfield and link up with midfielders or deep-lying forwards.
This system can allow Alves to tuck into the right side of the midfield and create extra numbers in the middle of the park along with Paredes and Verratti to free up attacking midfielders like Neymar and give them an extra amount of space to operate in further up the pitch. This is a tactic similar to the one used by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City with Fabian Delph and Kyle Walker.
Although Paris Saint-Germain had tried to deploy this system earlier this season, the lack of a technically gifted central defensive midfielder hampered its progress. However, unlike Marquinhos or Alves, the ex-Roma midfielder is a much better passer, tackler and reader of the game from the defensive midfield position.
The arrival of Paredes might just be crucial to PSG's much-awaited success in Europe.