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How PSG could line up without Kylian Mbappe this season (2021-22)

Bhargav
Paris Saint Germain (PSG) have assembled a star-studded squad this summer.
Paris Saint Germain (PSG) have assembled a star-studded squad this summer.

PSG have assembled a dream team this summer. The Ligue 1 giants have landed Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarumma on free transfers and have also signed Achraf Hakimi from Inter Milan.

That makes PSG the team to beat in France and in Europe this season as they have quality throughout the squad, especially up front where Messi joins the potent duo of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

However, the trio might not play together for too long, as Real Madrid have tabled a monstrous €160 million bid for Mbappe, who has a year left on his PSG contract.

It's also to be noted that Mbappe has turned down multiple contract extension proposals from the Ligue 1 giants.

Even if the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner is persuaded to stay in Paris for a year, he could depart PSG for free next summer, as Mbappe seemingly has his heart set on a move to Madrid. As a result, PSG could well decide to cash in on him this summer to get a hefty transfer fee from the La Liga giants.

As PSG grapple with the possibility of Mbappe leaving the club this summer, here's how the Ligue 1 giants could line up this season without the Frenchman.


Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma

Gianluigi Donnarumma has joined PSG this summer
Gianluigi Donnarumma has joined PSG this summer

Gianluigi Donnarumma is one of the most exciting young goalkeepers in the game at the moment.

The 22-year-old played a stellar role in Italy's triumphant Euro 2020 campaign. He kept three clean sheets in the group stage and pulled off saves in the penalty-shootout wins over Spain in the semis and England in the final to win the Player of the Tournament award.

Donnarumma arrived at PSG after six fruitful seasons with AC Milan, helping the Rossoneri to second place last season and a return to the UEFA Champions League after a long absence.

The 22-year-old is yet to make his PSG debut. He is regarded as an upgrade on veteran custodian Keylor Navas and is widely tipped to take over from the Costa Rican in the weeks ahead.


Right center-back: Presnel Kimpembe

Presnel Kimpembe
Presnel Kimpembe

Presnel Kimpembe has been with PSG since the 2014-15 season, but has only made 184 appearances for the club due to injuries.

The experienced Frenchman has featured in each of PSG's three league games this season and is likely to be a key player at the club despite the arrival of Sergio Ramos.

The five-time Ligue 1 winner could once again be a key player for PSG this season as they aim to win the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history.


Left center-back: Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos is yet to make his debut for PSG.
Sergio Ramos is yet to make his debut for PSG.

Sergio Ramos is one of the finest goalscoring defenders in the history of the game. In a glittering career for club and country, he has won five La Liga titles and four Champions League titles with Real Madrid, and the FIFA World Cup and two European Championships with Spain.

Initially a right-back, Ramos made his name as a no-nonsense, hard-tackling center-back. Despite his questionable disciplinary record, there is no denying the 35-year-old's aerial prowess at both ends of the field.

After the departure of Real Madrid's all-time top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer of 2018, Ramos assumed penalty-taking responsibilities at the club. At PSG, the veteran defender will look to start things afresh after an injury-plagued 2020-21 campaign.


Centre-back - Marquinhos

Marquinhos has been a standout player at PSG over the years.
Marquinhos has been a standout player at PSG over the years.

Marquinhos, who has been at PSG for close to a decade, is considered one of the best center-backs in the game at the moment. Although PSG have a star-studded roster this campaign, their defense wears a new look, where Marquinhos' presence would come in handy.

Still only 27, the Copa America 2021 finalist is a leader at the back and can also score upfront. He has scored key goals for PSG in the later stages of the Champions League in the last two seasons.

The former AS Roma center-back has made over 300 appearances in all competitions for PSG, winning six Ligue 1 titles and reaching the Champions League final in 2019-20.


Right wing-back: Achraf Hakimi

Achraf Hakimi is one of the most exciting full-backs in the game.
Achraf Hakimi is one of the most exciting full-backs in the game.

Achraf Hakimi, one of the most exciting goalscoring full-backs in the game at the moment, is likely to play as a right wing-back role.

After a successful loan stint at Borussia Dortmund, Hakimi's parent club Real Madrid sold the Moroccan international to Inter Milan last season. Hakimi impressed in his new surroundings, notching up an impressive tally of seven goals and ten assists to help Inter win their first Scudetto in more than a decade.

However, when PSG came calling with an offer of €60 million for the 22-year-old, Inter Milan let Hakimi go. Interestingly, Inter had bought the Morrocan for €54 million a year prior to his sale. Hakimi has hit the ground running at PSG, scoring on his debut against Troyes.

The Moroccan is expected to continue his promising start as PSG eye a big season in all competitions.


Left wing-back: Juan Bernat

Juan Bernat has been a key player for PSG.
Juan Bernat has been a key player for PSG.

Juan Bernat, who has been at PSG for three years, has only made 76 appearances for the club. But he has displayed his attacking output by netting six times and registering ten assists across competitions.

Despite an injury-plagued 2020-21 campaign, where the Spaniard made just three appearances, PSG agreed a contract extension with the 28-year-old. Bernat can play across a handful of positions in the middle and defensive third; he is expected to feature as the left wing-back for PSG this campaign.

Bernat is nearing a return to first-team action, as he has reportedly started practicing with the squad. However, considering his long injury layoff, he is expected to be eased into the team, as PSG look to get him back to full fitness.


Central midfield: Georginio Wijnaldum

Georginio Wijnaldum
Georginio Wijnaldum

PSG's new recruit Georginio Wijnaldum was a key player in the resurgence of Liverpool as a force to be reckoned with under Jurgen Klopp.

An ever-present in midfield for the Reds, the Dutchman notched up 22 goals and 16 assists in almost 250 games. But his contribution to the team's cause was much more than only goal contributions.

The 30-year-old did not hog as much of the limelight as the attackers. But Wijnaldum was one of the leaders and unsung stars at Liverpool, helping the Reds win the UEFA Champions League and Premier League in successive seasons. After leaving Anfield on a free transfer this summer, Wijnaldum joined French giants PSG before Euro 2020.

The Dutchman has already made three appearances for the Ligue 1 giants and could be a key player for them as the season pans out.


Central midfield: Marco Verratti

Marco Verratti has been a key player for PSG over the years.
Marco Verratti has been a key player for PSG over the years.

Marco Verratti, a key player in Italy's triumphant Euro 2020 campaign, has been at PSG for close to a decade.

Regarded as one of the finest midfielders in the game, the 28-year-old sizzled for Italy at the quadrennial tournament. He will now look to continue that form in the 2021-22 season for PSG, who have a new-look roster this season.

Still only 28, the diminutive midfielder has made close to 350 appearances in all competitions for PSG, scoring nine times and dishing out 58 assists. The seven-time Ligue 1 winner, who has played only once this season, will look to help the spate of new arrivals settle down quickly as PSG look to compete on multiple fronts.


Left-wing: Neymar

Neymar has been a key player for PSG.
Neymar has been a key player for PSG.

PSG winger Neymar is arguably one of the best attacking players in the game at the moment. The 29-year-old has racked up a creditable tally of 87 goals and 52 assists in four seasons at PSG and recently signed a contract extension at the club.

The 2021 Copa America finalist has had an injury-plagued stint in the French capital, but when on song, he can be more than a handful. Neymar is the only player in Champions League history to score 20 Champions League goals for two different clubs.

Although he hasn't won the competition since leaving Barcelona in 2017, he will fancy his chances of doing so after PSG's successful transfer window so far.


Striker: Richarlison

Richarlison is an exciting striker in the game at the moment.
Richarlison is an exciting striker in the game at the moment.

If Kylian Mbappe does end up leaving PSG this summer, Richarlison could be a like-for-like replacement at the club.

After a lukewarm outing at Copa America 2021, Richarlison showed his class as Brazil won the gold medal in men's football at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The 24-year-old center-forward, who plies his trade at Everton, has scored 42 goals in over 100 games for the English club.

Richarlison has been linked with a move to Real Madrid following Carlo Ancelotti's arrival at the club this summer. But with Mbappe's impending departure to the Spanish giants, the Brazilian is instead likely to move to the French capital instead.

PSG are reportedly counting on Richarlison's friendship with compatriot Neymar to bring him to the club. But the move is unlikely to happen if Mbappe stays put.


Right-wing: Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has arrived at PSG this summer.
Lionel Messi has arrived at PSG this summer.

Widely regarded as the best player to have played the beautiful game, Lionel Messi has been a standout performer for club and country over the course of his illustrious career.

The 2021 Copa America winner arrived at Ligue 1 giants PSG after a prolific 17-season stint at Barcelona, where he registered a staggering 1077 goal contributions (672 goals, 305 assists), won ten La Liga titles and two continental trebles.

Messi has scored goals galore in the biggest of competitions, something he'll look to do alongside his good friend Neymar for his new employers this season.

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Edited by Vishal Subramanian
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