Ranking PSG's Top 10 Summer Signings of the Past 10 Years
Paris Saint-Germain are set for a huge summer. That doesn’t necessarily mean the club will spend a ridiculous amount of money before the start of next season, but there will be a wind of change swirling through the Parc des Princes.
All reports suggest there will be a new man in charge at PSG. Unai Emery is set to take over from Laurent Blanc, per Europe 1 (h/t Alex Bywater of MailOnline), and the Spanish coach will want to put his own stamp on the club.
Over the past 10 years, the transfer policy has changed dramatically in the French capital. It was as recent as 2010 when they spent £1.13 million on Siaka Tiene from Valenciennes—something that wouldn’t happen these days.
When picking the top 10 summer transfers over the last 10 years, it says a lot for PSG's policy that players such as Lucas Digne, Layvin Kurzawa and even Edinson Cavani don’t make the list.
We are looking at not just their impact on the field but value for money and what the move meant in the grand scheme of the development of the club.
From the bad times, when they were signing players such as Bonaventure Kalou in 2005 and Pierre-Alain Frau from Olympique Lyonnais in 2006, to the modern-day moves that make them the European powerhouse they are today, here are PSG's top 10 summer signings of the past 10 years.
10. Javier Pastore, 2011 from Palermo
Although his five years in Paris have been very mixed in terms of results, signing Javier Pastore from Palermo of Serie A was the moment that changed the club’s transfer policy.
Some of Europe’s best teams were interested in El Flaco, but PSG won the battle and spent €42 million on the playmaker, ushering in a new era.
In 146 appearances in Ligue 1, Pastore has scored 25 times and added 32 assists. Sadly, his tally of 13 strikes during his debut campaign is still his best single-season return for the club.
9. Mickael Landreau, 2006 from Nantes
When he retired from SC Bastia at the end of the 2013/14 season, Mickael Landreau finished as the player with the most appearances (618) in Ligue 1 history.
After 10 seasons as the No.1 'keeper at FC Nantes, Landreau moved away from his boyhood club and signed for PSG on a free transfer.
He played every single minute of every league game over his three seasons with the Parisiens, and although he didn’t win a trophy in the French capital, his signing is an example of the value for money the club will unlikely ever see again.
8. Nene, 2010 from AS Monaco
He might not have been a free transfer, but spending just €5m on a player such as Nene would never happen in 2016. Perhaps the last of the PSG old school, the Brazilian made a huge impact at the club.
In just two-and-a-half seasons, Nene played 79 games and scored 36 goals, including 21 during the 2011/12 season as PSG were pipped to the title by Montpellier.
He was 29 years old when he arrived in Paris, but his impact was timeless. He also helped PSG reach two Coupe de France finals. The arrival of big-money stars ushered Nene out of the club, but he should never be forgotten for his time at the Parc des Princes.
7. Claude Makelele, 2008 from Chelsea
Before the QSI era began in 2011, PSG went through some tough times in Ligue 1. Claude Makelele joined on a free transfer from Chelsea in 2008, and although the club didn’t finish higher than fourth when he was on the field, it was his impact off it that was of great importance.
He made 98 league appearances in three seasons, and when he retired, he joined the coaching staff, giving PSG an amazing presence for helping the club shape its future.
Makelele left to start his managerial career at SC Bastia in 2014, but it would be no surprise to see him return to Paris at some point in the future.
6. Marquinhos, 2013 from AS Roma
Joining after spending just one season in Italy with AS Roma, Marquinhos arrived with a burgeoning reputation—regarded as one of the best young defenders in the world.
He may have cost the club £27 million, but it showed the increasing power of the Parisian giants. Not only could they sign big-name ageing players, but they could also lure young talent away from leagues with a better reputation than Ligue 1.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi likely still hopes the Brazilian will go on to blossom further in the French capital.
5. Angel Di Maria, 2015 from Manchester United
After a poor season at Old Trafford with Manchester United, there were doubts about what level of impact Angel Di Maria would have in Paris.
More than €50 million was a huge outlay last summer, but after a few months, the fee was no longer being mentioned. His return on investment was instant, and his performances were excellent.
Finishing the campaign with a league-leading 18 assists highlighted an amazing debut season. In the coming campaign, an improvement in the Champions League will be expected.
4. Blaise Matuidi, 2011 from Saint-Etienne
Blaise Matuidi could go down as one of the last of a certain breed of signings for the Parisian club. Arriving just before QSI took over the club, he cost a modest fee of around £6 million from Saint-Etienne.
He was not a huge name and didn’t have a profile outside of France, but the former Troyes player has gone on to achieve amazing things for both PSG and France. There was a point when many PSG fans believed Matuidi was as important as some of the blockbuster signings who make up the top three on this list.
Matuidi has made 167 appearances in the league, won four league titles, two Coupe de France trophies and three Coupe de la Ligues.
3. Marco Verratti, 2012 from Pescara
In just four seasons with the club, Marco Verratti has become not just the future but the present of Paris Saint-Germain.
It’s an amazing story. When he joined from Pescara for an initial fee of just €12 million, he hadn't played a single minute of top-flight football. Now he is a major part of how PSG play. Still only 23 years old, Verratti is a player PSG’s future will be built around, but his return to full fitness this summer will see the midfielder feel like a new signing next term.
Verratti makes PSG tick. Everything goes through the tenacious Italian, and local fans hope his long-term future remains in the French capital.
2. Thiago Silva, 2012 from AC Milan
He was signed in his prime, and his move to France showed Ligue 1 viewers a new level of defending. It was something the league hadn’t seen for quite some time. Class on the ball and a superb reader of the game, he has been incredible.
No matter who plays for PSG over the next 10 years, future defenders at the club will be compared to Silva.
1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 2012 from A.C Milan
Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has changed Paris Saint-Germain forever.
After four seasons with the club, he left this summer as PSG's all-time leading goalscorer and their top league goalscorer. In 122 appearances, he finished with 113 goals. Considering he cost the club less than £20 million in 2012, he will go down as perhaps the club’s greatest signing.
Players will come and go, but there will only ever be one Zlatan.