5 Ligue 1 Players That Paris Saint-Germain Should Target
This summer is set to be another busy period for the soon to be 2014 Ligue 1 champions. Paris Saint-Germain will be looking to continue their domination domestically but also build on their reputation as one of Europe’s elite clubs.
Names such as Paul Pogba, per Tuttosport (h/t ForzaItalianFootball.com), Antoine Griezmann, according to L'Equipe (via 101 Great Goals) and Branislav Ivanovic, per Simon Jones of the Daily Mail, have already been linked with moves to the French capital, but if PSG are to continue to grow and blossom they can’t forget to look closer to home for the next group of stars.
For the next few years players such as Blaise Matuidi and Lucas Digne will become the backbone of PSG, both were bought from within Ligue 1, and it is a market that the Parisians should remain very active in. There all always domestic gems to be found and it won’t cost the world to recruit them.
Here are five players from Ligue 1 that Paris Saint-Germain should target this summer.
Serge Aurier: Toulouse FC
The Ivorian international is one of the best young right-backs in Europe right now. In fact it wouldn’t be completely unreasonable to say that he is probably the best.
Before the end of the season Aurier will make his 100th appearance in Ligue 1, that is an amazing achievement for someone so young and he would be the perfect signing for the Paris Saint-Germain.
The 21-year-old can play in the centre of defence, he can play—as he has shown this season— as an attacking wing-back, but there is no doubt that his best position is at right-back.
Aurier is a superb defender and he has shown great composure when under pressure and positioning in all of his different defensive roles. He likes a tackle and is not afraid to throw his weight about. This season he has also shown an attacking side to his game, he has five goals and six assists and is the third top scorer at Toulouse this season.
How the French international side could do with a player of Aurier’s quality right now and if PSG could make him a summer recruit they would be gaining a player with a very bright future.
Remy Cabella: Montpellier HSC
Laurent Blanc and the PSG hierarchy will likely be looking for an attacking player this summer. Unconvinced by the quality of both Jeremy Menez and Javier Pastore, the club will attempt to move both players on at the end of the season, per Simone Rovera of Goal.com, and it will open the space for a similar type player to come in.
Cabella would be perfect for the Parisians. He is a fantastic player to watch and is a delight to behold with the ball at his feet. His personality would fit perfectly in the French capital and he is the type of player that would thrive in the winning environment.
The 24-year-old Corsican playmaker has scored 10 goals this season, not only does he lead Montpellier in goals scored but with five assists he is their best creative asset too. It is safe to say that he has outgrown the 2012 Ligue 1 champions and a move to one of the best teams in Europe is something that his play deserves.
Cabella would not only bring another option to PSG in the wide areas but his movement and instinct would see him drop into the centre of the park and become a deadly component in Laurent Blanc’s 4-3-3 system.
Bruno Ecuele-Manga: FC Lorient
According to WhoScored.com, Gabon international defender, Bruno Ecuele-Manga, has been Lorient’s best performer this season, scoring an average rating of 7.37 per match, that’s 0.42 ahead of anyone else at the Breton club.
Playing in the heart of the Lorient defence, Ecuele-Manga has been a rock for the club for a few years now, and it may be time that he made a well-deserved move to a top club. At 25 years old, the time would be perfect for him to bolster the defensive position at Paris Saint-Germain and he deserves the chance to play in the Champions League.
Thiago Silva and Marquinhos are undoubtedly going to be the No. 1 pairing for next season but with both Alex and Zoumana Camara getting on in years—and the inexperience of Antoine Conte mostly untested—the signing of Ecuele-Manga would provide Laurent Blanc with a highly experienced, very dependable and talented player.
From his time at Lorient he has always played well against PSG. Showing time after time that he is up for the challenge of taking on Europe’s best strikers, it could be time that he did it on the biggest stage of them all.
Maxime Gonalons: Olympique Lyonnais
Paris Saint-Germain has been heavily linked with a move for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba this summer but if they have to change their target then they could do a lot worse than the current Lyon captain.
Maxime Gonalons has been constantly linked with a move to Italian side Napoli, per ESPN FC, for the last few months and it is likely he will move on this summer, but he could be an excellent option for the French champions.
The 25-year-old gives you a stable and calm head in the centre of the park. He is exemplary in possession of the ball and provides the defence with that extra level of protection needed in the toughest games. Superb in the tackle, he reads the game extremely well and is very rarely found out of position.
Lyon will not want to sell their captain to another Ligue 1 side but sometimes money talks and the former French giants might not be able to resist the riches of PSG. For the Parisians they will be gaining a tremendous central midfielder and the long-term replacement for Thiago Motta.
Sebastien Corchia: FC Sochaux
This superbly talented, extremely pleasant full-back needs a new club, and he needs it now. Three transfers to other Ligue 1 clubs have broken down over the past eight months and now the former France Under-21 captain needs a club that can guarantee they can actually complete the move. PSG could capitalise on the mistakes made by Lyon, Marseille and Lille and gain one of Ligue 1’s best young defenders.
Since his move to Lille broke down due to funding issues, Corchia has returned to Sochaux and has done his best to put the past behind him: he has even expanded into the right-midfield role. There is no doubt he is a great option at right-back and he could be the perfect back-up at PSG to Dutch defender Gregory van der Wiel.
Corchia is the type of full-back rarely found these days, being that he is as good defensively as he is going forward, although he is still a huge threat in the final third with his excellent right foot. He can provide support from the wide areas and also has outstanding ability from set-piece situations.
If the Parisians were looking for a right-back in Ligue 1 then Aurier would be the No. 1 target but in Corchia they would be bringing in a very good player at a much cheaper cost.