Paris Saint-Germain’s long term goal under their Qatari owners has been to win the Champions League. To that end, they have spent big money on several marquee names from across Europe.
Kylian Mbappe is the jewel in their crown who they bought from AS Monaco for a fee of £130.5m in 2018, but their most expensive signing is Neymar who the club smashed all records for by spending nearly £200m on the player. But of course, the closest they have come to European glory is the Champions League final in 2019/20.
You would think that all this spending would at least guarantee them the league title, but since the takeover back in 2011, the club have missed out on the title three times to Montpellier, Monaco and Lille. So what have they done wrong?
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Some fans have theorized that they have a similar problem to Manchester United. They spend money on big names but do not think about how they can be used in the first team before signing them, but the problem may lie a bit deeper than that.
Bayern Munich are the biggest club in Germany and part of the reason why is they have a monopoly on all of the league’s top domestic talent. PSG by comparison only has Mbappe and Presnel Kimpembe as key squad members, which is disappointing when you consider that France currently has multiple golden generations when you look at their national teams.
Part of the reason for this is due to how they have completely disregarded their academy. I tweeted out a graphic which showed what sort of team PSG could have put out if they just used their academy talent over the past decade.
Some of the players there could be starters for the current PSG side, such as Mike Maignan, Mousa Diaby and Christopher Nkunku while others could be great squad players. What makes it worse is a lot of these players have either left for a small or no fee and their talent has only benefited their rivals.
Academy players always seem to have something to provide as well and will often be part of the club’s youth system because they are a supporter as well. Motivation and desire usually come as part of the deal and some think that this could have given PSG the edge they’ve been missing.
United have always taken pride in their academy, the Class of ’92 and the Busby Babes both being shining examples of what you can achieve when you put trust in youth players that you have cultured and developed. And the club’s current crop of youth also has the potential to make a real impact.
United’s Under-18 squad won the FA Youth Cup last week thanks to two goals by Alejandro Garnacho and another by defender Rhys Bennett. The Argentinian winger is one player many fans believe will be part of the first-team squad next season under Erik ten Hag.
Alvaro Fernandez, Garnacho and Hannibal Mejbri are just some of the names that United fans are hoping will be part of the first-team squad in the coming years. If they do not get game time however they could leave for new pastures and this is something the club must avoid.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.