This article will grade the performances of Paris Saint-Germain's summer transfer signings: Gregory Van der Wiel, Marco Verratti, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Thiago Silva.
Since Lucas Moura hasn't played for PSG yet, this article will preview what to expect from him instead of providing a performance grade.
Don't hesitate to comment below with your opinions.
Well, at least he wasn't an expensive flop. That would be the spin coming out of Paris Saint-Germain's PR department if they attempted to explain Gregory Van der Wiel being, well, Gregory Van der Wiel.
Did PSG not watch Van der Wiel's last season at Ajax? He was so bad that when Ricardo van Rhijn—a natural centre-back—filled in at right-back, fans preferred him over the more experienced Van der Wiel.
He could have rectified his season with a strong showing at Euro 2012, but he was awful. Dutch football journalist Johan Derksen offered an explanation for Van der Wiel's dire form (from Voetbal International via Goal.com):
Gregory Van der Wiel was working on everything except football. He has his own clothing line and was working too long on it. Plus he was working on hip hop music and was getting his hair done every day. Players hardly saw him without headphones on. He wasn't listening to music only during matches and training.
Van der Wiel has been such a liability that he makes Christophe Jallet look world-class.
The Dutchman is fortunate that he's insignificant in the grand scheme of things, because all the media attention is focused on Carlo Ancelotti possibly losing his job and Javier Pastore giving up on himself.
Championship Manager had Tonton Moukoko whilst Football Manager had Marco Verratti.
CM overrated Moukoko's ability whilst FM foreshadowed Verratti's rise from little-known Italian club Pescara.
Verratti's passing is immaculate, and as time goes on, he'll start to incorporate more incisive passes from deep like Andrea Pirlo.
The 20-year-old needs to work on his tackling efficiency because his tendency to overcommit in the challenge is a reason why he's an easy target for referees.
Should Carlo Ancelotti get the sack, would Verratti stay? If a French manager is hired, he might be pressured into playing the prodigious Adrien Rabiot over Verratti.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Hulk and Zlatan Ibrahimović are on the forefront when you think of players that are in the top percentile physically and technically.
You just have to appreciate the number of hours spent working on their bodies in the gym and refining their technique on the field.
He's a freak of nature, and the world's greatest footballer debate should have been a three-horse race as opposed to a two-horse race.
Ibrahimović is finally going beast mode more regularly—19 goals and eight assists in 20 combined Ligue 1/UEFA Champions League games.
Even though the game was outside of Paris Saint-Germain, his four-goal performance against the English was unforgettable.
Now, Ibrahimović is a legitimate candidate for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or.
Obviously, the Swede can't win the 2012 FBdO because he isn't on the final three-man list.
The emerging Lorenzo Insigne softens the blow Napoli took when they sold Ezequiel Lavezzi to Paris Saint-Germain.
Lavezzi has swung from breathtakingly brilliant—like against Dynamo Kiev and Valenciennes—to a frustrating enigma.
Whether it's a two-footed lunge on Benjamin André or not taking over the game against Nice and Rennes, sometimes you're at a loss to explain Lavezzi's actions.
Performance Grade: A+ | Signed from AC Milan for €42 million
It's Silva's compatriot, Gil, from Valenciennes—the team that crashed and burned 4-0 to PSG without their star Brazilian defender.
Gil is great, but Silva is a one-of-a-kind player.
He is a leader of men and that became evident when he was given captaincy even though he doesn't speak fluent French.
His 90.6 pass completion percentage proves how comfortable he is playing out from the back.
He is strong in the air and has covered the ground quickly enough to cut off 49 passes this season. He's even scored twice in the UEFA Champions League.
Performance Grade: N/A* | Signed from São Paulo for €45 million
What Paris Saint-Germain don't want is Lucas Moura becoming Denílson 2.0 or not even settling in like Caio Ribeiro at Inter Milan.
Caio had the world at his feet, having won the 1995 FIFA World Youth Championship Golden Ball.
Denílson just wanted to entertain and was content with getting a nightly highlight-reel cameo as opposed to winning games for Real Betis.
The €45 million price tag is absurd for Lucas, who is nowhere near the player Neymar is—and people have doubts over Neymar's ability to translate his form in the Brasileirão to Europe.
Whenever Lucas has played for Brazil, he hasn't lived up to the hype fostered by all his compilation videos, which show Djalminha-like audacity.
Just to balance out the failures of Denílson and Caio, there are success stories from teams signing players from São Paulo like Raí to PSG, Kaká to AC Milan, Hernanes to Lazio and Júlio Baptista to Sevilla.
* will start playing for PSG in January.
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