With oil-rich Paris Saint German embarking on a summer spending spree that makes Manchester City look frugal, their Galactico-looking squad looks set to be a major force on domestic and European fronts next season.
Having grabbed the attention of the football world with the €62m capture of AC Milan duo Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG are ready to challenge the Champions League heavyweights. Here’s how Carlo Ancellotti’s impressive side could line up next season…
Salvatore Sirigu – Goalkeeper
The 25-year-old keeper Sirigu established himself as the first-choice keeper in the French capital last season, after initially being brought in from Palermo as the understudy to Nicholas Douchez. Having played third-choice in Italy’s runners-up Euro 2012 squad, Sirigu will be itching to get back between the sticks at the Parc de Princes this season.
Alex – Right-back
Normally a central defender, former Chelsea man Alex may be shifted out to right back for the coming season by Ancelotti. While Christophe Jallet is capable in the position, Alex adds further power to a strong-looking backline. He might look like a Bond villain, but the Brazilian adds further class to PSG’s star-studded squad.
Thiago Silva – Centre-back
The 27-time capped Brazilian was the first to swop Milan for Paris this summer, signing a five-year contract and filling the gap at the heart of PSG’s defence that was crying out for leadership and domination. With as many international caps as years, Silva arrives at the club with the peak of his career ahead of him. Recognised as one of the finest central defenders in the world, too.
Mamadou Sakho – Centre-back
Local lad Sakho has emerged through the Parisian club’s youth system to become captain of the senior side at the age of 22. He’s been hailed as the next Lillian Thuram, but his form dipped last season. He was often benched for his club and failed to make the France squad in Poland and Ukraine this summer. The arrival of Silva as his central partner could re-ignite the potential of the talented fans favourite, nicknamed ‘Kirkou’ for his eccentric hairstyles.
Maxwell – Left-back
Former Barcelona defender Maxwell has impressive pedigree, having turned out for Ajax, Inter Milan and the Catalan giants before a €4m transfer took him to PSG in January. With time to settle in at the French club properly over the summer with a full pre-season under his belt, the 30-year-old could remind all his old clubs just what an explosive full-back he is by getting back to form and full fitness next term.
Thiago Motta – Defensive midfield
Italian enforcer Thiago Motta achieved a lot of success in his adopted country after switching allegiances from his nation of birth, Brazil. Won the Champions League, along with a host of other trophies, under Jose Mourinho at Inter, but is mostly remembered in England as the sorry receiver of a red card in a 2010 semi-final after some amateur dramatics from Sergio Busquets. He also moved to PSG in January.
Blaise Matuidi – Defensive midfield
The 25-year-old holding man signed last year from Saint Etienne as a replacement for Claude Makelele, who has now become assistant coach at PSG. A somewhat unfulfilled talent so far, Matuidi now has the opportunity to use the former Real Madrid shielder as a mentor. He could realise the potential that has seen him on the lips of scouts from the Premier League over recent years.
Javier Pastore – Central midfield
Pastore was PSG’s mega-money signing last summer, completing an astonishing near €40m move to the club from Palermo. The Argentine struggled to find his feet in Ligue 1 last season, but may see the club’s recent acquisitions as the breath of fresh air he needs to kick on a gear. Without doubt he has the talent to make it at the highest level.
Jeremy Menez – Right wing forward
France international Menez has been somewhat of a journeyman so far in his career, with the 25-year-old playing for Sochaux, Monaco and Roma before a match-made-in-heaven transfer saw him take the number 7 shirt at PSG last summer. He broke into the national team since his move and looks set to improve further in in blue and red.
Ezequiel Lavezzi – Left wing forward
Due to the signings of Silva and Ibrahimovic, Lavezzi’s €30m move from Napoli to PSG went almost under the radar of some. But the tricky Argentinian forward will prove his worth in time, having been a key cog in the impressive Napoli side that worried Chelsea so much last term. His combinations with Ibra could be devastating.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Centre forward
The icing on the cake for PSG’s summer transfers, Ibrahimovic was persuaded to give up Milan for Paris in order to spearhead Ancelotti’s forward line this season. The big Swede divides opinion like few others, but on his day he is simply unplayable. His pouncing volley against France in Euro 2012 proved exactly that. Slightly temperamental attitude, but if his abilities can be properly harnessed, Ibra will prove the best signing of the lot.
How big an impact do you think PSG will have in Europe this season?