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But if Robin Van Persie was nicknamed the Flying Dutchman after his superb header against Spain at the 2014 World Cup (5-1), Wijnaldum could steal the nickname. Not because he scored a diving header on a glide, but rather because he was more often than not ghostly. Within the big 5, he is one of the 2% of midfielders who trigger the least pressing and the 1% who make the fewest interceptions, tackles and passes forward…
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Signed in 2011 from Juventus for around 8 million euros, he is one of the very first recruits of the QSI era… and his first failure in midfield. Not quite physically fit, he only took part in his first meeting at the end of September with a Europa League match against Bilbao during which… he received a red card.
Thereafter, Sissoko offers some good performances in the league, but not enough to really make an impression, before a knee injury during the off-season. He will have a hard time recovering. In question, he admits it himself, his lifestyle not irreproachable: “You come back to your city, with your friends, everything around you, you’re not particularly focused on your football…“. After a loan to Fiorentina, PSG and Sissoko finally agree to terminate his contract at the end of the 2012/2013 season.
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Yohan Cabaye, recruited in the winter of 2014 to place himself under the orders of Laurent Blanc, also suffered from the Parisian context, but not in the same way. Under the colors of the capital, he did not benefit from the expected playing time, nor showed great things. In any case not enough to justify the 25 million euros placed on him.
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“When I arrived, some players didn’t want me to come, I felt it“complained the French, once returned to England, at the microphone of Canal +. The stars freshly arrived at the club, including a certain Zlatan Ibrahimovic, weighed their desires and their moods on the locker room. And Cabaye seems to have done so Some of his post-PSG media appearances also give the impression of a player who was, at times, a little overwhelmed by the pressure surrounding the Qatari project.
In the summer of 2015, Stambouli was clearly brought in to try to replace failed Yohan Cabaye. And the former Montpellier, snatched from Tottenham for around eight million euros, did not really do better.
Accompanied by a cold reception from the Parc des Princes, the native of Marseille struggles to exist in the Parisian midfield. Benjamin Stambouli’s brief stint in Paris can be described as a failure. Even though he played 27 Ligue 1 matches. While the Frenchman had four years left on his contract, Emery, newly installed on the bench in place of Laurent Blanc, made him understand that he was not in his plans, causing his departure to Schalke.
Benjamin Stambouli – PSG
Credit: From Official Website
Two full seasons at Sevilla FC for the Pole and Paris draws the checkbook: 27.5 million euros. However, in the capital, Krychowiak will especially know… the bench. Quite surprisingly, Unai Emery decides to completely snub the former Bordeaux player.
“Before signing a contract with PSG, I asked Emery if he really wanted to have me in the team. He had answered “oui“, se remémore Krychowiak. Three months later, Emery said he didn’t want me on the team.” he completes. Difficult to analyze this failure as he did not appear on the lawns during his French freelance. One season and then leaves.
Grzegorz Krychowiak (PSG)
A very high-flying 2015-2016 season with OM, then a decent 2016-2017 exercise under the orders of Rudi Garcia and Lassana Diarra caught the eye of Paris Saint-Germain. After his breach of contract with OM, Paris will go get him to strengthen his midfield during the 2018 winter transfer window.
Hampered by knee problems, he quickly left Thomas Tuchel’s plans and only had twelve tenures over the duration of his contract. Contract terminated amicably one year after his arrival. Diarra, who was back in the France team thanks to his performances in the Olympian jersey in 2016, ended up preferring to focus on the development of his energy drink brand.
Lassana Diarra (PSG)
Credit: Getty Images
Giovanni Lo Celso
The term failure weighs perhaps a little heavy for the case of Giovanni Lo Celso. Nevertheless, he did not bring what he should have brought to the capital. Recruited in Rosario (Argentina) in 2016 for 10 million euros, he will first return there time to mature. When he settles in Paris, if he has the shoulders to be a good Ligue 1 midfielder, he only played 33 matches in the competition in 2017/2018 and does not seem to have the build to help PSG reach European summits.
As proof, he dragged his performance against Real Madrid in the round of 16 first leg of the Champions League like a ball. During this dirty evening in February 2018, he drowned at the sentry post, caused a penalty and multiplied the loss of dangerous bullets. With his installation on the bench, Tuchel clearly shows him that he is not part of his plans. PSG still realizes a nice capital gain with a sale to Betis Seville for 22 million euros.
Giovani Lo Celso during PSG- Lyon in Ligue 1 on September 17, 2017
Credit: Getty Images
As for his previously mentioned compatriot, Leandro Paredes did not really fail in Paris. When he is in good shape, the Argentinian has shown great, even very good things. With the highlight, his match against Barça during the slap inflicted on Camp Nou in C1 in 2021 (4-1).
Enough for a promising player bought 40 million euros? Surely not. And the problem is there. An efficiency in the pass, he easily manages to advance the game when the opposing pressure is not too intense. Still, defensively, the intensity of his work is too limited: he triggers few pressings, intercepts and counters few balls. The proof, he is one of the players who could well pay the price for the degreasing made in Campos and Henrique.
Credit: Getty Images
This time, it’s neither a level of play problem, nor a locker room problem, nor a coach problem. Xavi Simons, snatched from La Masia at the age of 17, suffered from another ailment that is eating away at PSG: between the youth teams and the first team, the artery is clogged.
At the end of the season, he could have had the opportunity to gain playing time. He had even created a status as a contender for ends of matches in Ligue 1 thanks to good performances. And yet, almost nothing. The situation not being a winner for anyone, the young Dutchman spun free at PSV this summer. Not the first to prefer to leave the capital to give impetus to a young career, certainly not the last.
Xavi Simons, the young PSG midfielder.
Credit: Getty Images
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