Mercato - Will Paris Saint-Germain finally recruit in Ligue 1?

Mercato – Will Paris Saint-Germain finally recruit in Ligue 1?

At the beginning of each market, the same routine returns. PSG must find a way to sell its (too many) junk, while at the same time succeeding in expanding at a low cost a staff full of stars and some of the best players on the planet. And for that, the capital club has turned exclusively to the foreign market in recent seasons, without a systematic success, a fact that the Wijnaldum, Ramos and other Rafinha are there to remind. With a new organization chart coming up, enter the formalization of Luis Campos as a football advisor and the agreement in principle reached with Zinedine Zidanethe hope of a Ligue 1-oriented recruitment is reborn.

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But still, the French championship has not in recent history the favors of the Parisian club. As proof, the last recruit made by PSG from Ligue 1 is none other than Kylian Mbappé… attracted in the summer of 2017! Since then, nothing. Or rather, a series of negligences on the most interesting prospects in Ligue 1, all gone abroad (Fabinho, F. Mendy, Koundé, Leao…). Sometimes even starting from the Parisian club itself (Nkunku, Diaby)!

Recently, the failures of Camavinga and Tchouaméni confirm another problem: even when PSG are interested in the talents of Ligue 1, it encounters the desire of young people to go abroad, the ferocity of French clubs financially who logically want to take advantage of the power of Paris to drive up prices, and fierce competition from rivals in Europe, who know that a PSG without the talents of the French championship in its ranks is a weakened PSG.

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Because they got it right, and they’ve been using it in the transfer market for years. All the big ones in Europe first use their national network to expand their workforce. Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, or Juventus (who remain a big European despite the last two difficult seasons) have a solid foundation in their standard team of players trained at the club or recruited in their respective leagues. . Paris must, and wants to, do the same.

Multiple but complicated tracks

While the mercato has just officially opened its doors, five names from Ligue 1 have already been associated with an arrival at PSG: Hugo Ekitike (Reims), Seko Fofana (Lens), Sven Botman (Lille), Lucas Paqueta and Malo Gusto (Lyon). Recruiting local is one of the apparent priorities of the new Portuguese sporting director Luis Campos, and this also seems to have been a determining factor in the negotiations leading to Kylian Mbappé’s new contract with the French champions. Additional proof of the supposed validity of this “made in France” recruitment.

Malo Gusto and Lucas Paqueta, together under the PSG jersey next year?

Credit: Imago

Having said all that, it remains to be seen who can actually join the Paris ranks. Paqueta will not be coming, he was Leonardo’s top priority, and Ekitike seems to have a deal with Newcastle for a € 46 million transfer. Fofana, Botman and Gusto are less dreamy, but are affordable for PSG and no less interesting on paper than some of the foreign names mentioned by the market rumors. The change of direction at PSG will go through these kinds of recruits, and even if a recruitment in Ligue 1 will inevitably have its share of casting errors, not trying is a clear guarantee of failure.

In addition to the five names in the press, other Ligue 1 talents could make PSG leaders think and grow with the capital club (Omari, Badiashile, Thuram, Merlin…). The Skriniar rumor and the 50 million proposed by the PSG according to La Gazetta dello Sport come to confirm that PSG’s mercato direction will not change drastically in a summer either, but the hope of finally seeing the French champions move towards the Ligue 1 market is real. The talent is there. It now remains to know how to find him, and convince him to come and play with Mbappé, Messi and consorts.

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