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Rating the impact of PSG’s five most expensive signings

Paris Saint-Germain’s quest for success has seen a whole host of marquee arrivals at the Parc des Princes in recent seasons, the club’s ambitious owners spending significantly since a billionaire takeover a decade ago.

The results have been a period of domestic dominance, with the Parisians having won seven of the past eight Ligue 1 titles, Monaco’s exciting side of 2016/17 the only interruption to their recent monopoly of French football’s top tier.

The prize the owners truly crave is the Champions League however, last season’s runners-up finish the closest the capital club have come to becoming only the second side from France to be crowned champions of Europe.

Drawn to face a Manchester City team with similar aspirations in this season’s semi-finals, this could be the season that PSG’s incredible investment is repaid with club football’s biggest prize.

Ahead of the clash, we look back at the biggest names to have headed to Paris over the past decade and rate their impact.

Here are our ratings of PSG’s five most expensive signings.

Angel Di Maria – £44m

Paris Saint-Germain moved to rescue Angel Di Maria from his Manchester United nightmare in 2015, the winger having endured a disappointing single season stay in the Premier League.

Di Maria had enjoyed huge success at Real Madrid – including winning the Champions League – before moving to Old Trafford in a British transfer-record deal, but faded following a bright start as he struggled to settle in English football.

The Argentina international enjoyed a brilliant debut season to score 10 goals and provide 18 assists in just 26 league starts, with the star having remained a key figure in the Parisian’s side in the seasons since.

Di Maria’s creativity and selfless style have seen him become the perfect foil to the club’s superstar attack and the 33-year-old is closing in on the club’s all-time assist record after reaching 99 for PSG in all competitions.

Only Lionel Messi has provided more assists in Europe’s top five league since the turn of the century and Di Maria is now just four short of equalling Safet Sucic’s record for PSG.

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He remains a prominent player even into the latter stages of his career and has scored five goals and provided 12 assists during the current campaign, his experience and creative quality set to be influential as Mauricio Pochettino’s side hunt Champions League success.

Rating: 8/10

Mauro Icardi – £45m

Mauro Icardi’s performances in Italian football prompted interest from PSG in 2019, signing the forward on an initial season-long loan deal before a permanent £45m switch last summer.

Icardi had enjoyed a prolific record with Inter Milan after scoring 124 goals in 219 appearances, twice winning the Capocannoniere award as Serie A’s leading scorer before a public falling out with the club’s supporters.

He signed for PSG on loan for the 2019/20 season and enjoyed an impressive maiden campaign, netting 20 goals in all competitions as Thomas Tuchel’s side won a domestic treble and reached the Champions League final.

His second season has proven more difficult with much of the 28-year-old’s campaign spent injured, though he has retained an impressive goal-per-game ratio and has returned to the side with goals against Saint-Etienne and Metz in recent weeks.

The Argentine offers an out-and-out striking option at centre-forward with both Neymar and Mbappe often utilised in wide roles, and could provide a penalty-box presence this week after being bizarrely left on the bench in last season’s Champions League final.

Rating: 6/10

Edinson Cavani – £55m

Another name signed following a prolific period in Italy, Edinson Cavani tormented defences in the colours of Napoli before a big-money move to the French capital.

The Uruguay international became the Parisian’s all-time record signing after scoring 104 times across just three seasons in Naples, joining a brilliant attacking line-up containing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Cavani spent much of his first seasons in Paris playing second fiddle to Ibrahimovic and often featured in a wide position, though registered an impressive strike-rate with 25+ goals in each of his first three campaigns.

The forward’s game reached new heights following Ibrahimovic’s departure to Manchester United however, scoring a staggering 49 goals in all competitions in 2016/17 and finishing as Ligue 1’s leading scorer in successive seasons.

 

Cavani’s brilliant movement and instinctive finishing saw him plunder a record 200 goals for PSG, winning six league titles amongst 17 major honours in a trophy-laden period in Paris.

Rating: 9/10

Kylian Mbappe – £163m

PSG’s pursuit of the ultimate success accelerated in incredible fashion during the summer of 2017, the duel signing of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar handing the club the most potent forward line in world football.

Mbappe signed on an initial season-long loan deal after bursting onto the scene at Monaco, completing a permanent switch the following summer for a fee in the region of £163m.

It was a stunning sum for a teenage talent, but one that has been vindicated as Mbappe has continued his ascent to the upper echelons of the game since arriving at the Parc des Princes.

Mbappe’s first three full seasons delivered three league titles, four domestic cups and 90 goals across all competitions, twice finishing as Ligue 1’s leading scorer in the process.

The 22-year-old has been electric in PSG’s march to the Champions League semi-finals this term, netting a hat-trick against Barcelona at the Camp Nou and two in the quarter-final first leg with Bayern.

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Those goals have contributed to a haul of 37 in just 42 appearances this season, with Mbappe quickly closing in on a career-best goalscoring campaign as the lead of the PSG attack.

Mbappe has looked destined to be one of the world’s best since his rapid emergence at Monaco and the sky remains the limit for arguably football’s brightest talent.

Rating: 9/10

Neymar – £198m

Neymar’s world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain caused shockwaves across Europe, the big-spending Parisians triggering the Brazilian’s release clause in his Barcelona contract.

The forward rose to prominence at Santos before making a big-money move to Barcelona, forming part of a scintillating attacking trident alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at the Camp Nou.

He scored 105 goals across four seasons with the Spanish giants and formed part of their treble-winning side in 2014/15, before becoming the marquee addition in PSG’s project as the club’s owners sought Champions League success.

That success is yet to come to fruition and Neymar’s injury record has been a large part of their downfall, having failed to make in excess of 30+ appearances in all competitions since his maiden season.

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When fit however, the 29-year-old has showcased his talents as one of the world’s best, scoring 84 goals in 109 appearances and shouldering the creative responsibility for the PSG attack.

Neymar’s form and fitness will be crucial to PSG’s hopes of finally conquering Europe this season and winning the Champions League will be key to how his legacy in Paris is viewed upon his departure.

Rating: 8/10

Read – Iconic Performances: Rivaldo and the greatest hat-trick ever scored

Read Also – Five of the best Brazilians to play for Barcelona

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