How Blaise Matuidi and Thiago Motta's Contract Extensions Will Impact PSG

Nicholas McGeeContributor IFebruary 27, 2014

PSG's Blaise Matuidi, left, celebrates his side's opening goal during a Champions League round of the last 16 first leg soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Paris Saint-Germain in Leverkusen, Germany, Tuesday Feb. 18, 2014.  (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Martin Meissner/Associated Press

Blaise Matuidi and Thiago Motta have been key factors in another highly impressive Paris Saint-Germain season.

The two midfielders have produced a number of excellent performances this campaign, without which, the capital club may not have enjoyed the success it has had in both domestic and European competition.

PSG are five points clear at the top of Ligue 1 and have one foot in the last eight of the Champions League following a 4-0 thumping of Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of the last 16.

And the Parisians have recognized the significant contributions Matuidi and Motta have made to that effort, tying Matuidi down until 2018 and keeping Motta at the club until 2016.

The contract extensions are a just reward for the magnificent form both players have displayed in 2013-14, with each man having an impact in the PSG engine room for two very different reasons.

Indeed, Matuidi has once again showcased outstanding energy and drive, scoring four goals in all competitions, the latest of which arrived in the rout of Leverkusen at the BayArena.

Matuidi's statistics this season are exceptional, per The former Saint-Etienne man has a 92.3 per cent pass-success rate in his performances in Ligue 1 games and Champions League play, and he also has played 30 key passes and contributed five assists.

Meanwhile, defensively, the France international has averaged 2.2 tackles and 2.1 interceptions a game.

Yet statistics can only prove so much. While Matuidi's stats back up his burgeoning reputation, Motta's main contribution has been in bringing a calming presence to the PSG midfield.

The 31-year-old's composure has been nothing short of crucial to the fortunes of Laurent Blanc's side, with his assured style proving to be an excellent complement to the more robust nature of Matuidi, and the unbridled enthusiasm, aggression and creativity of the younger Marco Verratti.

This is not to say that Motta lacks playmaking ability. On the contrary, the former Inter Milan man has arguably been PSG's most inventive player, totaling a superb 42 key passes (per in his Ligue 1 and Champions League games this campaign.

Keeping the midfield duo could well be key, to crucial, to PSG's future fortunes. Matuidi is quickly developing into one of the best all-round midfielders in world football, while Motta has shown the value of an experienced head in an otherwise youthful midfield.

Matuidi's decision to stay at the club also reaffirms the message that the capital club are not in the business of selling its better players.

Manchester City and Chelsea were said to hold an interest in Matuidi (per Paul Gorst of Daily Mirror), while Arsenal had been reported as tracking the midfielder (from via the Metro).

The move to extend Matuidi is a clear statement of intent from PSG, and the call to extend Motta is a smart move that should provide the ever-improving Verratti with a mentor to help the young playmaker continue his already rapid ascent.

There is an argument that the extensions could make it harder for highly rated teenager Adrien Rabiot, and even for Yohan Cabaye—a recent signing from Newcastle United—to break into the starting XI at the Parc des Princes.

But competition for places is a key motivator for footballers, and although the majority of PSG's players are unlikely to need any extra incentive to perform, having a plethora of options in the midfield can only be a bonus for a club that shows no signs of slowing down in its quest to reach the summit of European football.