On Saturday, Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain announced the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino as the club’s head coach. He has replaced Thomas Tuchel at the helm of the club.
Mauricio Pochettino, 48, is back in the mix of things since being dismissed by Tottenham in November 2019, a few months after guiding the Premier League side to the Champions League final. The Argentinean, who played as a center-back for the Ligue 1 giants between 2001 and 2003, will be tasked with what his predecessor, Thomas Tuchel, failed to achieve — bring the UEFA Champions League trophy to Parc des Princes for the first time in the club’s history.
Tuchel, 47, was appointed coach in 2018 and guided PSG to two Ligue 1 titles along with a domestic quadruple in his second season at the club. Despite leading PSG to the Champions League final in August 2020 which they lost to Bayern Munich, he never really managed to leave an imprint on this star-studded side that consists of players like Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Angel di Maria and Marquinhos etc.
Pochettino faces an uphill task and should take different measures in the background to improve the team’s fortunes and create a healthy environment at their Camp des Loges training ground. The former Tottenham boss needs to pay close attention in particular to the club’s young talent, encourage starlets to play beyond their age groups to challenge them and promote them in the first team.
That’s exactly what he did in his five-and-a-half-year stay at Tottenham, nurtured young talents and academy products and provided them with ample opportunities to shine. At PSG, Pochettino already has some unbelievable talents at his disposal but needs to create a system to get the best out of them. His preferred 4-2-3-1 formation can certainly see the likes of Neymar, Mbappe, Di Maria, Marco Verratti, Presnel Kimpembe and Marquinhos start enjoying their football again.
Who could join PSG?
With the January transfer window now open, the newly-appointed PSG boss should use this opportunity to bring in a couple of fresh faces to strengthen the squad. Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has been linked with a move to PSG.
Alli, 24, was signed by Pochettino for Spurs and was one of the Argentinean tactician’s most important players. The 24-year-old midfielder has been frozen out completely by Jose Mourinho, managing only 11 appearances across all competitions this season. Speaking to Sky Sports in November last year, Pochettino had compared Alli to the likes of Ronaldinho and Diego Maradona. So, a loan move to PSG until the end of the campaign for the England international makes a lot of sense.
Christian Eriksen, another former Tottenham star, is currently struggling for game time at Inter Milan. He has fallen way down the pecking order under Antonio Conte, despite only arriving at the club a year ago. The Denmark international is yet to register a goal contribution in 12 games this season and must leave Inter this month to resurrect his career.
Eriksen is a top midfielder and would be a solid addition to this PSG side, adding much-needed creativity and spark. He could be the missing link that makes the front three of Neymar, Di Maria and Mbappe tick again.
PSG are currently third in Ligue 1 after losing four of their 17 league games, one point behind Lyon and Lille. The Parisian side’s form must improve if they are to retain the Ligue 1 title and go all the way to secure the Champions League trophy.
Pochettino earned his reputation at Tottenham by playing a brand of exciting, attacking football that gained the respect of the watching world and he’ll hope to emulate the same at Parc des Princes with the help of a host of stars at his disposal and a few new additions.