Blog by: Shayne
Last season, big-spending Paris-Saint Germain finally reaped the first rewards of their massive spending by winning the Ligue 1 title for the first time in 19 years. Given the number of quality players they invested in, it was expected that they would win their League. In a bid to ensure continued success, their big spending continued during the summer. There were, however, a few changes made that might not quite work out for them in the long run.
PSG didn’t have to do much to win the League. The fact that second-place Marseille finished 13 points behind them says it all, really. Riding on impressive performances from their star players, notably Zlatan Ibrahimovic (he scored 30 League goals last season), they were able to make small work of it.
In Carlo Ancelotti, they had an experienced manager who had a reputation of getting his teams to play good and effective football and former AC Milan manager Leonardo watching over the club’s transfers as the Director of Football. They even managed a decent run in Europe, reaching the quarterfinals of the tournament and losing out only to a strong Barcelona side. They will no doubt be looking to improve on those displays this season.
The club lost Carlo Ancelotti to Real Madrid and Leonardo quit his post as Director of Football. Nevertheless, the club remained active in the transfer market. Undoubtedly, their biggest coup of the summer was the purchase of Edinson Cavani from Napoli for a stunning €63.5M. The Uruguayan had attracted interest from a host of clubs, including Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid but eventually signed for the Ligue 1 champions.
That wasn’t the end of their splurge either. The club paid Roma €35M on talented young centre-back Marquinhos. They further strengthened their defence by signing Lucas Digne from Lille for a fee of €15M. However, they did sell two players. Kevin Gamiero was deemed surplus to requirements after the arrival of Cavani and was shipped off to Sevilla. The Spanish club paid €7M for him. PSG also sold Mamadou Sakho to Liverpool for €21.2M.
Laurent Blanc was appointed as the new manager following Ancelotti’s departure to Spanish giants Real Madrid. The Frenchman has had a mixed managerial career. While he did a decent job at Bordeaux, his stint as the manager of the France national team was less than successful. It’s still too early to judge him yet, but some of PSG’s performances this season haven’t looked too convincing despite the added firepower.
If PSG can continue to perform the way they did last season, they can expect to better on the results they got last season. They have added competition in Ligue 1 (newly-promoted Monaco) but they shouldn’t have too much trouble retaining the League. Blanc will look to improve on their displays in Europe as they cannot justify so much big spending without putting in some impressive displays in Europe. Blanc has a team full of talented players with an interesting mix of youth players and big-name stars. It’s up to him how he decides to use his players.