With Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaving PSG after four glorious years, it almost feels like a new dawn for the French champions who have dominated French football since 2012.
Ibrahimovic’s lasting effect on the club who waited 18 years for a league title can not be underestimated. And whilst football of course is a team game there can still be no denying that Ibrahimovic was able to convert many chances created into goals. In his four seasons Ibra as he became known in Paris netted 156 goals in just 180 games. That’s an all time record for the club, as is the 50 goals he scored in a season, which included 38 just in Ligue 1, a national record.
PSG have won 12 trophies since 2012, last season the club recorded an unbeaten streak of 30 games which was a new Ligue 1 record, it also took them the same number of games to wrap up the league title, another all -time record.
But with Zlatan gone and coach Laurent Blanc waving au revoir times certainly seem to be a changing for the Parisians. Unai Emery so successful with Sevilla has been brought in and yet a new striker for Zlatan has yet to be seen too. Will indeed PSG replace him? Edinson Cavani on his day is a wonderful player but the Uruguayan can go uncannily quiet in games too.
The club have been very calm in the transfer market in fact, especially for a team that we are told have pocketfuls of dough. Hatem Ben-Arfa has been brought in – as the big name signing this season. Ben Arfa who has spent most of his career in the English Premier League had a solid last season at Nice where the club enjoyed minor success and the pacy winger should bring even more quality to the champions.
Grzegorz Krychowiak will team up with Emery once again from Sevilla and a deal has just been pushed through for young attacking midfielder Giovani Lo Celso from Argentina. That sentence usually evokes either excitement or despair, considering the quality of player that Argentina has produced in that position over the years.
But still no Zlatan mark II. One player that may be on PSG’s radar is Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette. But the club are more willing to sell their striker to foreign shores. The problem is that the only real suitor to have come in of late was Arsenal and their disgraceful £29m bid.
Surely PSG will dive into the transfer market once more and catch a striker, if they don’t this ‘new era’ as some French media have called might get off to a harder start than the four times in a row league champions would have anticipated.