Power Ranking Every PSG Player from the 2015/16 Ligue 1 Season
As far as Ligue 1 is concerned, the 2015-16 season has been Paris Saint-Germain’s most successful since Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) took over following the 2010-11 campaign.
Laurent Blanc’s men had Le Championnat secured by the end of March—a new domestic and continental record-fast time to win a domestic title—and they finished the term with 96 points, breaking their own record tally set back in 2013-14 by seven.
PSG lost just twice all season and drew six times, dropping just 18 points in total over the course of the 38-match campaign.
In that time, Les Parisiens scored 102 goals, conceded just 19 and finished the term a whopping 59 goals better off—in terms of goal difference—than second-placed Olympique Lyonnais.
The men from the capital finished 31 points ahead of Les Gones in the most dominant display from any previous French champions.
Star man Zlatan Ibrahimovic was six goals shy of equalling the all-time Ligue 1 record of 44 set by Olympique de Marseille’s Josip Skoblar all the way back in 1970-71.
However, the Sweden international’s 38-strike season was enough to set a new PSG record for goals scored in a single campaign.
The 34-year-old’s brace in a 4-0 home win over FC Nantes on the final day of term ensured that he beat Carlos Bianchi’s benchmark of 37 by one.
Here is a power ranking for all of PSG’s players from the 2015-16 season.
23. Nicolas Douchez
Handed the rarest of starts for the season-ending 4-0 home win over Nantes so that he would be eligible for a winner’s medal, the veteran Frenchman performed well in his only Ligue 1 appearance against Les Canaris.
The 36-year-old spent most of the season as third-choice goalkeeper, though, so he was not even on the bench for most matches.
22. Jean-Kevin Augustin
After starting pre-season in prolific form, big things were expected from youth academy graduate Jean-Kevin Augustin this campaign.
However, the 18-year-old has struggled to truly make an impression this term, and he arguably would have benefited more from a loan spell with regular starting appearances.
The PSG No. 29 made 13 appearances, but only five of those were starts and he has just one goal to show for the entire season.
A loan move to a team in either of the top two tiers next campaign would arguably be the wisest move.
21. Hervin Ongenda
Despite getting fewer chances than fellow youth academy graduate Jean-Kevin Augustin, Hervin Ongenda actually has more to show for his Ligue 1 appearances.
The 20-year-old scored once and assisted another in just five appearances, of which four were starting roles.
Ongenda’s future is unclear this summer, but if he does stay in Paris, then a loan move would be the best thing for him next season.
20. Salvatore Sirigu
Although the nature of Salvatore Sirigu’s ousting from the starting XI by Kevin Trapp was harsh, Laurent Blanc’s decision to play the German more than the Italy international has ultimately been justified—mainly because of Trapp’s greater technical ability.
Because of this, Sirigu has barely had any chances to put Trapp under pressure in an attempt to win back his place in Le President’s starting XI.
The 29-year-old Azzurri star made three appearances—all starts—and kept clean sheets in all of those matches. However, the PSG No. 30 was mainly used in the domestic cups and not Ligue 1.
19. Presnel Kimpembe
Although Presnel Kimpembe has made more appearances this season than last, the youth academy graduate has not made the progress many had hoped before the start of the campaign because of a lack of opportunities.
The 20-year-old was involved in six Ligue 1 outings—five as a starter—and in that time, he contributed towards four clean sheets.
Kimpembe has moved into the France under-21 side at international level, but he will need more matches or a loan move next term to really make the progress he needs to.
18. Benjamin Stambouli
As far as attitude is concerned, Benjamin Stambouli has been a good addition for PSG because he does not complain about starting most matches on the bench—unlike predecessor Yohan Cabaye.
However, when on the pitch, the Frenchman has only provided limited value in the 27 appearances—18 starts—he has made in Ligue 1.
Depending on which players the French champions target this summer, Stambouli could find himself exiting Parc des Princes this summer after an unimpressive start to life in Paris.
17. Gregory van der Wiel
It has been a disappointing final season with PSG for Gregory van der Wiel, who will depart this summer when his contract ends.
The Netherlands international started 16 times out of 17 appearances made, scoring twice and contributing three assists.
However, Van der Wiel’s lack of ability defensively means that the 28-year-old will not be missed.
16. Serge Aurier
Up until an ill-advised outburst on Periscope back in February, Serge Aurier was in the running to be PSG’s player of the season.
Instead, the Ivory Coast international’s second half of the campaign has been in stark contrast to the first, and he was only just finding his feet once again towards the end of term.
Aurier started all 21 of his outings in Ligue 1, participating in 13 clean sheet efforts. The 23-year-old scored two goals and laid on two more, but a total of eight yellow cards indicates a need for greater discipline.
15. Javier Pastore
Like Marco Verratti, Javier Pastore had to endure an injury-hit season. The Argentina international made just 16 Ligue 1 appearances—11 from the start—but he was still able to contribute two goals and six assists.
It is a shame that Pastore’s progress stalled this campaign, considering that last term was arguably El Flaco’s best since arriving in Paris.
The 26-year-old will be expected to return in better condition next season, but there are concerns that the South American might now be an injury-prone figure.
14. Marco Verratti
It was an injury-hit season for Marco Verratti, limiting the Italy international to just 18 Ligue 1 appearances. Only 11 of those 18 outings came as a member of the starting XI, so it is unsurprising that the 23-year-old only had three assists to his name.
Verratti has now successfully undergone surgery on a pubalgia issue that will keep him out of this summer’s European Championship, but the operation is something that the player should have undergone much earlier in the campaign.
13. Layvin Kurzawa
Considering how Serge Aurier struggled considerably in his debut season at Parc des Princes, Layvin Kurzawa’s maiden campaign in Paris has been far smoother.
Although the 23-year-old is not back in the France national team yet—something he had achieved while at AS Monaco—he is in line to be Laurent Blanc’s starting left-back next term.
Kurzawa made 19 appearances—17 of those as a starter—scoring four goals and providing five assists, more than his positional rival Maxwell in fewer games.
12. David Luiz
Although he started the season as one of Laurent Blanc’s two starting central defenders—the other being captain Thiago Silva—David Luiz finished the Ligue 1 campaign spending most of his time behind Marquinhos in the pecking order.
The 29-year-old Brazilian’s term was not as convincing as his first in Paris, and there is a strong argument that PSG are better at the back without him in the team.
Luiz started 23 times out of 25 matches played and 15 of those finished with clean sheets. The South American also contributed one goal and two assists in Le Championnat.
11. Kevin Trapp
As far as debut seasons go, Kevin Trapp’s was not a bad one in Paris. The German goalkeeper made 35 appearances—all starts—and kept 19 clean sheets in that time.
Trapp made some excellent saves and showed, at times, why coach Blanc decided to replace Salvatore Sirigu with the shot-stopper from Eintracht Frankfurt last summer.
However, the 25-year-old also made some costly errors and will have to display stronger concentration next term if he wants to avoid ultimately losing his place to the impressive Alphonse Areola.
10. Thiago Motta
Laurent Blanc’s men suffered because of Marco Verratti’s regular unavailability, but no player felt the young Italian’s absence more than Thiago Motta.
Although still a key player for Laurent Blanc, the Azzurri veteran was some way below his best across all competitions, and that was particularly evident in his Ligue 1 performances where he often looked laboured.
Motta featured 32 times in Le Championnat—only failing to start in six of those—and he scored once and provided one assist.
9. Lucas Moura
As one of PSG’s most used players with 36 appearances—only 10 as a substitute—Lucas Moura was one of the French champions’ main influences.
However, despite breaking into the starting XI at the start of 2016, the Brazilian failed to truly convince as a starting member of the attacking three.
Lucas managed nine goals and five assists in Ligue 1 but should have probably broken into double figures for both considering how regularly he was used.
8. Adrien Rabiot
It was a season of maturity for Adrien Rabiot as Marco Verratti’s regular unavailability meant that the France under-21 international was given more opportunities to shine.
The 21-year-old stepped up to the plate and was largely consistent in the absence of the Italian, so the PSG No. 6 was not missed as much as he could have been.
Rabiot made 24 appearances—19 were starts—scoring one goal and assisting another. Les Parisiens’ No. 25 was more prolific in domestic and continental cup action.
7. Edinson Cavani
Although he lost his place in Laurent Blanc’s starting XI to Lucas Moura at the start of 2016, Edinson Cavani still managed to score more than once every two matches in Ligue 1.
The Uruguay international made 32 appearances—24 of those as a starter—and he found the back of the net 19 times, while also setting up five other goals.
Cavani’s performances might not have been that convincing at times, but El Matador has still recorded his best goals tally in Le Championnat so far since his 2013 arrival.
By the end of the Ligue 1 season, Marquinhos had displaced David Luiz in Laurent Blanc’s preferred starting XI.
The 21-year-old will hope that this remains the case next campaign after the young Brazil international grew frustrated by a lack of regular starts.
Marquinhos made 29 appearances—20 starts—and helped to keep 17 clean sheets in that time as both a central defender and a makeshift right-back.
The PSG No. 5 also chipped in with a goal in the 4-0 win over Nantes on the final day of term.
Like a fine wine, veteran left-back Maxwell has been one of PSG’s most consistent performers this season, and the South American has belied his 34 years of age.
The former Brazil international made 28 appearances—24 of those from the start—and played a part in keeping 18 clean sheets.
Maxwell not only contributes to the defensive side of things, though, he also offers a threat going forward, and Les Parisiens’ No. 17 scored three goals and provided three assists this campaign.
4. Blaise Matuidi
For the most part, Blaise Matuidi enjoyed a good season in Ligue 1. The France international made 31 appearances and started 23 of those.
However, overused by club and country, the 29-year-old was jaded at times and less effective as the campaign wore on.
Matuidi racked up four goals and added six assists, more balanced than his two previous terms but still less prolific.
3. Thiago Silva
It has arguably been Thiago Silva’s best season with PSG, and the captain is in what should be considered the best shape and form of his career right now.
The Brazilian made 30 appearances in Ligue 1—only coming on once as a substitute—and the 31-year-old helped his team to 16 clean sheets.
Silva also chipped in with one goal and another assist, as the French champions profited from the South American’s lack of international duty this campaign.
2. Angel Di Maria
What a fantastic debut season it was for Angel Di Maria in Paris. After making his move from Manchester United last summer, big things were expected of the Argentina international, and—for the most part—he delivered.
In Ligue 1 alone, Di Maria plundered 18 assists, and he also broke into double figures for goals with 10 to his name.
El Fideo started 26 times out of the 29 appearances he made in Le Championnat and was a candidate for player of the year along with team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
What can be said about Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s season with PSG that has not already been said? The super Swede has been simply exceptional all campaign long, and the towering striker has enjoyed his best-ever term in club football.
The 34-year-old scored 38 Ligue 1 goals in just 31 appearances—29 from the start—and the talismanic figure even managed to assist 13 other strikes as well.
Ibrahimovic’s 38 goals is a new single-season record for the capital club, and Les Parisiens’ iconic No. 10 smashed a number of other benchmarks across the course of the campaign.