Parisian Renaissance: How PSG can conquer Europe

Since PSG became one of the wealthiest clubs in Europe, their pre-season meeting has become somewhat repetitive. While there was an almost expectation that they would achieve their primary goal, this past season has changed all that.

Their key target for years, since it was accepted that league success was a given, has been to win the Champions League.

However, this season, AS Monaco messed up their plans for another league title and, adding insult to injury, also progressed further in the Champions League.

It begs the question: just what is happening at the country’s capital club and is it just a blip?

For the last few years, they have, without a doubt had the best group of players in France; a consequence of their financial might, though Monaco and their manager Leonardo Jardim proved that with clever scouting, it is possible to upset the odds.

Arguably they were one of the most exciting teams to watch in Europe last season, though big clubs have since started circling their players, with playmaker Bernardo Silva already securing a lucrative move to Manchester City, with more stars set to follow out of what is likely to be a revolving door.

Prime time again for PSG?

This could mean that PSG could be back on top next term, though for a squad of their quality and the financial muscle behind them, they should realistically be aiming much higher than domestic success.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was, without a doubt, a huge loss while Edinson Cavani seems to be fading from once, possibly in the ‘world-class’ striker bracket to someone who is starting to wane.

Recruitment this summer is key; keeping hold of midfield maestro Marco Verratti, is paramount. While Angel Di Maria and Julian Draxler have been insightful acquisitions, their headache lies more centrally.

Eclipsing Robert Lewandowski as Bundesliga top scorer this season by one goal, it is his exploits in the Champions League for the German club over the past few seasons that can be massive for the French powerhouses. With Dortmund said to want upwards of £50million for his services, this shouldn’t be a problem, and at 28 he is approaching his prime.

What PSG need to win that elusive Champions League crown

Keeping hold of the aforementioned Verratti is essential, as he is the type of player any manager would realise that you need to build a team around.

Their transfer policy will also shape how they play. For years the team revolved around Ibrahimovic and as such, they rarely relied on pace to beat teams. Due to his departure, they seemed to lack a definitive approach last season and they need rebuild their footballing identity from scratch.

More of a focus on players who are good on the ball in midfield, plus pace in the advanced areas would be a great start, though defining a first choice defensive partnership is also essential.

At 32, centre-back Thiago Silva is approaching the twilight years of his career and the club will no doubt have started thinking about his replacement. With the future of compatriot Marquinhos also in doubt as well perhaps now would be a good time to act, with a number of quality defenders on the scene at the moment, especially residing in Italy.

Rumours also persist that PSG are power-brokering a move for Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who is the subject of a tax fraud investigation and is understood to be seeking a new challenge away from Real Madrid. There is no doubt that Ronaldo would be a significant upgrade, having almost single-handed guided Los Blancos to their last three Champions League titles.

While PSG are regarded by many to be on the periphery of world-class clubs, if they get this transfer market right, the Ligue 1 side can certainly make an impact next season and finally conquer Europe.