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PSG: Dembélé at the top, Lee useful, Ugarte and Kolo Muani disappointing... What is the outcome for Luis Campos' recruits?

Time to take stock.

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PSG: Dembélé at the top, Lee useful, Ugarte and Kolo Muani disappointing... What is the outcome for Luis Campos' recruits?

Time to take stock. As the 2023-24 season draws to a close, with Nice again this Wednesday in a late match on the 32nd day of Ligue 1, Metz on May 19 and the Coupe de France final against Lyon on May 25 to play, it It's time to delve into the results of the Parisian transfer window, Year II of Luis Campos. In 2022, the Portuguese had to regenerate a squad that was running out of steam but which still relied on the trio Mbappé/Messi/Neymar, even if the third named was already pushed towards the exit without having finally found a buyer. 2023, change of scenery, PSG aiming to take the turn of youth, of the collective, of the end of the stars. 11 new faces during the summer, one during the winter, not to mention the loanees Xavi Simons and Gabriel Moscardo. More than €400 million. What results? Mixed, very mixed…

Respectively poached from Barça for €50 million and from Bayern, for barely less (€45 million), Ousmane Dembélé and Lucas Hernandez (injured) met expectations. It is not a surprise. We are talking about two executives of the France team, 43 selections for one and 37 for the other, two solid players whose qualities and faults we knew. However, we could question the consistency of “Dembouz” and the physique of the eldest Hernandez. In this case, Dembélé was one of the most consistent players of the season, if not the most consistent, and Hernandez held on... until his rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in early May, in Dortmund (defeat 1-0). The latter has notably rendered proud services to the left while awaiting the return of Nuno Mendes. We can criticize the first for his lack of goals, but he brings so much elsewhere... Two captains, two good picks.

Snatched from Lyon for €50 million including bonus after six good months in Ligue 1 alone, Bradley Barcola represented a real gamble. His talent was evident with OL. From there to performing regularly at PSG, there is a world. Not for Barcola, who crossed the threshold with ease. Luis Enrique made him a starter at the end of 2023. Certainly, we have the right to expect even better in terms of statistics (4 goals, 8 assists in 40 matches), particularly in C1 (1 goal and 1 assist in 10 matches) , but for a first season at a very high level, it is more than promising. To see if this successful first will open the doors of the French team to the 21-year-old ex-Lyonnais this summer for the Euro. It's very possible, especially since Didier Deschamps will be able to call up to 26 players instead of 23 in Germany.

Opposite trajectories for the first two recruits of last summer. Two players whose arrival Campos had completed before the signing of Luis Enrique. An important element. Gonçalo Ramos had a complicated first part of the season, with the addition of a virus which ruined his life at the end of the year, before sparking... in the championship, while Manuel Ugarte started the season with a bang before leaving from the starting 11. Common point ? Luis Enrique did not rely on them in C1 for the second part of the season. However, these are two of the three most expensive recruits last summer, €80 million including bonus for the Portuguese striker and €60 million for the Uruguayan midfielder. Two players of whom we can wonder if their profile meets the expectations of their coach.

To ask the question, is to answer it. Ugarte does not have the technique to take on the role of sentinel while Ramos, the club's second top scorer this season (14 in 38 matches), seems condemned to a "supersub" role. Two players whose qualities are obvious. To see if they are destined to find their place in the spirit of “Lucho” for next season… At that price, it’s expensive for two replacements. There are decisions to be made.

A file largely driven by Nasser Al-Khelaïfi. Paris aimed to rejuvenate and “Frenchize” its squad last summer. Marcus Thuram said no. “NAK” used its good relations with Frankfurt to attract Randal Kolo Muani, surprise boss at the 2022 World Cup and author of a 2022-23 season with 23 goals and 17 assists. PSG therefore broke the bank to associate it with Mbappé and Dembélé. An oven. The former Nantes player never found his place in the Parisian system, gradually losing all his confidence. His last performances are dramatic. He hasn't lost his football, just his confidence. But that's already a lot... Mbappé's departure will reshuffle the cards ahead. And open the door to a comeback for “RKM”? We must hope so for Parisian finances, because the 25-year-old player, recruited for €95 million, is unsaleable at this price. Nine goals and six assists to his credit all the same, in 39 matches. But the account is not there. Ramos, Ugarte, Kolo Muani, a trio worth €235 million including bonus.

Luis Enrique has strong ideas. To suit him, you have to have the ball, that's obvious. Kang-in Lee (€22 million), Marco Asensio (free) and Arnau Tenas (free) correspond to this idea. Arriving at the winter transfer window, Lucas Beraldo (€20 million) too. Players who have their place within the squad, in second place. Lee also has the advantage of selling as many jerseys as Kylian Mbappé, which doesn't spoil anything. Sent to the starting light, Beraldo showed that he has potential, even if the step was too high in the quarter and half of the Champions League. Note that Cher Ndour (free) played little in the first part of the season, before being loaned out. Recruited injured this winter, Gabriel Moscardo (€20 million) was also loaned, he who will make his Paris debut next season. Lee, Asensio, Berlado, useful players, not executives. For Tenas, he had to settle for a third goalkeeper role. Let's see what happens next year, with Keylor Navas leaving and rumors about the arrival of a new number 2 or even 1 bis.

Already courted in 2022, Milan Skriniar (free) only finally arrived last year. Luis Enrique played him a lot in the first part of the season. The opportunity to see that it is slow, very slow. We imagined it to be imperial in the air, but that was not the case. As a result, after his return from injury, he never found his place in the 11. In the end, the results are mixed for the 29-year-old Slovak rock. Various sources suggest that PSG will seek to strengthen in the center in the offseason. However, there will be minutes to take while waiting for the return of Lucas Hernandez from injury, probably out for the rest of the calendar year. The opportunity for Skriniar to relaunch himself?

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