PSG: the return of Messi and Paredes, the uncertain future of Icardi and Galtier’s plans for the team
This Friday started a new era in Paris Saint-Germain. After the turbulent period of Mauricio Pochettino in charge of the team, the team took the field for the first time under the orders of Christophe Galtierthe first Frenchman to take charge of the team since the dismissal of Laurent White in 2016 and a former champion of Ligue 1 with Lille in 2021. It was a 2-0 victory against Quevilly Rouen Métropole in what was also the first game back with the team from Leo Messi Y Leandro Paredesafter obtaining the Finalissima with the Argentine national team at the beginning of June, in addition to Mauro Icardiwho does not have his future insured in the institution.
A friendly of this caliber, against a rival from the second division and with a significantly smaller budget, may not be the most appropriate to draw conclusions about the level and quality of the team at this point in the preseason, but Galtier took the opportunity to test new tactical functions. He highlighted, for example, the team layout in a 3-4-3with Marquinhos, Sergio Ramos Y Abdou Diallo forming the defensive line and Messi sharing the offense with Icardi and Arnaud Kalimuendo, fresh back from his loan at Lens. Kylian Mbappe He did not participate, but he was present at the Parisian team’s training ground.
As for the meeting itself, it had no major incidents or surprises. Messi was swept in the area in the first half, but it was Ramos the designated to kick the penalty, which he later changed for a goal kicking cross against the post. And in the second half, the 18-year-old Mauritanian Djeidi Gassama he used some great footwork to get past his marker and finish off the keeper’s exit to double the lead.
In post-match statements to PSG TV, Galtier was satisfied with what his squad showed: “We are satisfied. It is not so much the result, they were two different teams since the squad could not be complete for that match. We saw that in the first half there were very interesting things regarding the gamethen it was necessary to find fast automatisms with a new game system. I saw a collective behavior and that ability to want to get the ball back quickly.”. In addition, he also highlighted the role of both the youth and the older members of the squad in guiding them.
The match also served as a good opportunity for the debut of the team’s first confirmed addition for this season, the Portuguese midfielder Vitinhafrom past to porto Y wolverhampton. Both he and the striker Hugo Ekitikewhich has not yet been announced but whose arrival is imminent, responds to a reinforcement profile markedly different from the one the club used to follow with Leonard in sports management. Instead of looking for stars and demanding immediate returns, PSG seeks to build a squad that can sustain itself in the long term, considering that the previous strategy did not give the expected results.
This decision-making will be reflected in the pre-season tour that the team will do in Japan. The payroll does not include players who were regulars in the team in previous years, as Andrew Herrera, Layvin Kurzawa, Rafinha Alcantara either Georginio Wijnaldum, who entered the second half today. On the other hand, there are other footballers whose departure was rumored, such as Diallo, Idrissa Gana Gueye, Thilo Kehrer and Icardi himself, who is being targeted by Monzaclub that will debut in the A series thanks to the investment of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
In the Asian country, the team from the capital will be measured exclusively against clubs from the J-League local: on July 20 it will be measured against Kawasaki Frontal, the defending champion; three days later he will visit Urawa Red Diamonds; and finally the 25 will play against osaka prawn. In addition, supporters will be able to attend two open-door training sessions to be held on the 18th in Tokyo and on the 24th in Osaka. For the start of the Ligue 1 campaign, we will have to wait until Saturday, August 6, when PSG visit Clermont. By then, Galtier will hope to have a better idea of what his team will be and how his style will imprint on it.