Young Players The Reason Why Paris Saint-Germain Are Doing Well

PSG young guns stepping up

Photo Courtesy of the Official Paris Saint-Germain Facebook Page

While players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani have been big reasons as to why Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are the Ligue 1 leaders on 24 points after 10 league games, two ahead of AS Monaco, their play and contributions are not the only reason why PSG are atop the league standings.

Others will argue that while the stars are doing what they are paid to do, that credit for how PSG are currently playing needs to rest with unsung heroes like Blaise Matuidi, Salvatore Sirigu, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Maxwell, whose play has been consistent since last season. Each of those viewpoints are accurate and have merit, but they do not explain why PSG have played more like a team instead of a collection of quality players trying to play like a team.

The reason that PSG are finally beginning to resemble an actual team is because their young players have injected some enthusiasm, tactical flexibility, solidity and quality contributions. The young players are Marquinhos, Adrien Rabiot, Lucas Moura, Lucas Digne and Marco Verratti.

Marquinhos, who is only 19-years old, came over during the summer from AS Roma in a deal worth €35 million. He clearly needed time to settle into his new environment and team given that there is little to no room for Laurent Blanc to ease him as a central defender. Now Marquinhos has established himself as a starter alongside either fellow Brazilians Alex or the injured Thiago Silva, and his presence and play has done a lot to make PSG much more solid defensively down the middle, something that was missing earlier this season.

Digne has done the same for the left side of the defense. The 20-year old came over during the summer from French club LOSC Lille for a fee of around €15 million. Like Marquinhos, Digne did not see much action right away as Blanc wanted to make sure he was settled in before giving making him a regular. Digne has settled in and his play on the left side has continued to solidify a PSG defense that has gotten better.

While Moura and Verratti came last season, both have matured in their play this season. Moura, who has split team as the right-sided winger/attack midfielder with Lavezzi, has proven that whether he starts or comes on as a substitute, he does very good job of serving as the link from midfield to attack. He has played well with Ibrahimovic and Cavani. As for Verratti, his play continues to shine as the midfield maestro, and PSG has improved its attacking play as he grows in confidence.

Finally, the 18-year old Rabiot has given the midfield that box-to-box threat which was needed. This was seen in Le Classique when he came on after Thiago Motta and gave the midfield much-needed balance in helping PSG come back to win 2-1. It is his ability to give the midfield balance, along with the play of the other young guns, that has contributed to PSG’s overall improvement as of late.

Lucas Carreras is a contributing Soccer writer for You can follow Lucas on Twitter by following him @maldini3fan and you can add him to your network on Google.

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  • M K

    Agreed, they have a bunch of extremely talented young players. Also you forget the young Ongenda who was absolutely amazing on that last game against Bastia & Rabiot is very very talented, love his football.
    What about Lucas? a world class talent. He may become fully mature a little bit after most youngsters of his age but he certainly will be one of the best player in europe one day.

    • Lucas Carreras

      Because of word count limitations, I had to omit Ongenda but agree, he deserves to be mentioned along with the others whom I talked about. I do talk about Lucas, I just refer to him in the article by Lucas Moura, I love watching him play alot.

      • M K

        When i said “What about Lucas?” it comes with the tone. Dam** what a talent! i understood you referring to lucas as lucas Mourra and love watching him too.
        BTW do you think Rabiot would do well in the epl? i know Arsenal & Liverpool are interested, i think he’s ready for a starting spot too so i’m a little scared PSG might loose him.

        • Lucas Carreras

          My apologies for mis-interpreting your statement related to Lucas Moura, I read it very differently from what you meant. To answer your follow up, I put no stock of any credibility in those rumors as they always seem to come up when a young player like Rabiot begins to shine. Look at the example of Adnan Januzaj, the minute he broke through for Man Utd., some began speculating as to him maybe leaving but a few days later he signed a new 5 year contract.
          Rabiot is clearly a big part of the current and future plans of PSG and the way he his being brought along by PSG is just right and along with the other young guns I mentioned, they will form a big part of PSG’s future in 3 to 4 years. Expect to see his playing time and role increase gradually.

          • M K

            Thanks for the answer & no worry for the misunderstanding.

            I feel like you’re right, those young guys really look like they could all have a starting spot in the incoming years but I only hope they won’t feel too much in a rush to get a starting spot and ask to leave for a club with less concurrence.

            Tonight PSG play against Anderlecht and if they managed to take control of the game early on, let say maybe something like 0-2 at halftime, i think Blanc might give some of them some precious champions league experience.

            Lucas could get between 30 & 45 minutes, depending on what Lavezzi produces. Rabiot might also come in to replace Verratti who didn’t play for 2 weeks now, he might not be able to hold on for 90 minutes. And perhaps Lucas digne who’s been exemplar everytime he came on. The thing is that Maxwell is irreproachable and consistently good so i understand why Blanc trusts him more of course.

            Funny fact on tonight’s game :
            Ibra scored a brace against Bastia in the first half, Cavani added his double in the second half after replacing him and Lavezzi played his last game with Argentina striking… twice. Blanc rested him against Bastia so they enter tonight’s game having each scored two goals in their last game.