Not a summer like another in Paris. For the first time, no absolute world star landed at PSG, but some unloved silent forces. They should finally fulfill the Qatari’s Champions League dream. But who are those 7 newcomers anyway? A show.
Vitinha (22 years – Portugal – 41.5 million)
He was once a flop transfer in the Premier League. In 2020, Wolverhampton – a popular destination for Portuguese – borrowed the young Vitinha near Porto. Only the midfielder could never claim a starting place and he never saw the purchase option lifted.
In hindsight, a godsend for Porto. Vitinha broke through under Sergio Conceiçao. The metronome distinguishes itself above all with its passing and the ability to dribble out of difficult situations. Also great for recuperation.
Nuno Mendes (20 years old – Portugal – 38 million)
At the age of 9 a Sporting scout showed up at his door. Little Nuno Mendes, however, thought it was a mugger and took a knife from the kitchen just to be sure. A story that the wing defender can now heartily laugh about.
Mendes is the total package of a modern winger. Extremely fast, technically skilled and blessed with an excellent cross. PSG did not hesitate for a second to sign him definitively after his loan spell last year.
Fabian Ruiz (26 years – Spain – 23 million)
Nicknamed “Messi” in the Real Betis academy, but after a significant growth spurt, it didn’t make sense anymore.
In contrast to the Argentinian, Fabian Ruiz grew into a versatile midfielder who combines strength with technique and excellent positional play.
Wore Napoli’s azure blue shirt more than a hundred times. The flamboyant chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis once flexed his muscles about a transfer from Ruiz: “If European top clubs offer 180 million euros, we can start talking.”
PSG ultimately paid “only” 23 million.
Carlos Soler (25 years – Spain – 18 million)
Cut Carlos Soler and he bleeds Valencia. Already lived in Mestalla as a toddler and played for the club from the age of seven.
However, despite his obvious talent, Soler did not want to play football with other children at first, but his grandfather convinced him with a GameBoy. Reportedly scored 500 goals in the youth of Valencia and provided 100 assists. The Spaniard did transform from attacker to midfielder, where he still frequently shows his offensive qualities.
PSG is his first club after childhood sweetheart Valencia.
Renato Sanches (25 years – Portugal – 15 million)
You would almost forget that he is still only 25. Renato Sanches stormed to the top of football like a comet by shining through at Euro 2016. Bayern eventually won the battle for Benfica’s super talent, but the dynamic and powerful midfielder went on to have an erratic career path.
It was difficult in Munich. And so the Rekordmeister decided to lend Sanches to… Swansea. Not in the least a success. The Portuguese did pass his re-exam at Bayern. Then PSG showed a concrete interest in him for the first time.
“But the next day Niko Kovac begged me not to leave,” Sanches said. “I stayed, but wasn’t in the squad the next game. In the next game I got five minutes…”
Nordi Mukiele (24 years old – French – 12 million)
Multi-purpose defender who has to fight Achraf Hakimi, especially on the right back. At RB Leipzig, the Frenchman already showed that he has all the assets for this.
Football smart, solid in the duels and excellent in passing. Chelsea were also prepared to go very far to bring him in.
Hugo Ekitiké (20 years old – Frenchman – Rent)
Known in France as a super talent, who is particularly efficient on target. Scored 11 times in 28 matches for Reims.
Wait patiently for his chance in an unfair competition with Mbappe, Neymar and Messi at PSG, who are hiring him with a mandatory purchase option.
In our Champions League special from De Tribune, Peter Vandenbempt already believes fervently in the renewed PSG.
“They will be the winner”, it sounds convinced. “They still spent a lot of money, but not on names. (Football Adviser) Luis Campos looked at the places in the team where something needed to be added. Like a right-back for example, where they have had a problem for years.”
“The commercial star policy is over. Vitinha and Fabian Ruiz, I think they are good players. Those are targeted purchases. Not just finger work: Messi, Neymar, who else?!”
“Really, the team is stronger than ever. With Renato Sanches, Verratti finally has a good football player next to him.”