Thiago Silva Criticises PSG Transfer Policy After Liverpool Defeat

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2018

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18:  Thiago Silva of Paris Saint-Germain looks to control the ball during the Group C match of the UEFA Champions League between Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain at Anfield on September 18, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Thiago Silva has hit out at Paris Saint-Germain's transfer policy and sporting director Antero Henrique following the club's 3-2 defeat to Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.

Per Ryan Taylor of the Daily Express, the Brazilian appeared to lament decisions that left Les Parisiens lacking for midfield options and forced players out of position at Anfield: "What were [Angel] Di Maria and Marquinhos doing in positions that they normally don't play in? I don't know, ask Antero Henrique."

Taylor interpreted this as a critique of Henrique offloading Javier Pastore and Giovani Lo Celso this summer. The latter joined La Liga side Real Betis on loan, while Pastore was sold to Roma.

Those transfers, along with Marco Verratti's suspension, meant PSG manager Thomas Tuchel was forced into some reshuffling for the trip to Merseyside. He chose to put Di Maria, a natural winger, into a central role, and he moved defender Marquinhos into midfield.

Silva wasn't happy with where Brazil international team-mate Marquinhos played against Liverpool.
Silva wasn't happy with where Brazil international team-mate Marquinhos played against Liverpool.Julian Finney/Getty Images

The changes didn't work as PSG were consistently overrun by Liverpool's relentless pressing in the middle. Silva may find a supporter for his comments, as manager Tuchel has also criticised transfer failings this summer.

Tuchel spoke about moving Marquinhos from centre-back to midfield, per Kristian Walsh of the Liverpool Echo: "I think that Marquinhos has a lot of the qualities that make his predestined to play in this role. I am not 100 per cent satisfied with the summer transfer window, to be honest with you, it was no secret that we were looking for a No. 6."

It's hard to argue with either Silva or Tuchel considering PSG couldn't replace Thiago Motta, who retired after anchoring midfield for years. A club with PSG's ample financial resources ought to have been able to find a replacement, yet Henrique missed out on more than one reported target.

Among them, Barcelona man Ivan Rakitic turned down the French champions to stay at the Camp Nou. Meanwhile, Chelsea enforcer N'Golo Kante recently revealed to RMC Sport (h/t Duncan Robinson of the Daily Star) he'd been the subject of interest from Paris.

PSG couldn't seal a deal for Rakitic in the summer.
PSG couldn't seal a deal for Rakitic in the summer.VI-Images/Getty Images

Failures to sign Rakitic or Kante make the decision to send Lo Celso out on loan more curious. The 22-year-old Argentinian developed well after earning ample playing time on the watch of Tuchel's predecessor Unai Emery last season.

He made 40 appearances in Ligue 1 and the Champions League, contributing four goals and as many assists.

Moving on creative midfielders without identifying replacements already appears to have hamstrung Tuchel's attempts to make PSG a force in Europe's top club competition.

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