Sergio Ramos, Achraf Hakimi, Georginio Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarumma have all come to Paris Saint-Germain in this transfer window – a lot of signings Mauricio Pochettino believes are the Ligue 1 giants.
The Argentine was named to succeed Thomas Tuchel in January and led his side to the Champions League semi-finals against Manchester City and finished second behind Lille on the domestic market.
After bringing numerous big names with him, Pochettino is preparing to return to the 2021/22 season and has surrounded himself with some stars of European football.
“A club like Paris Saint-Germain deserves players at the highest level,” Pochettino told the club’s internal media on Monday.
“And when you talk about players like Wijnaldum, Ramos, Hakimi or Donnarumma, they are all players who have shown their quality at other clubs and have proven that they have the quality to play for Paris Saint-Germain.”
Donnarumma, whose heroics on penalties led Italy to their first European Championship triumph since 1968, will provide additional defensive solidarity – a quality that is synonymous for Ramos.
The former Real Madrid center-back conceded 206 goals during his time at Los Blancos, while he is the only defender to have scored 100 goals in one of Europe’s top five leagues since the turn of the century.
Hakimi offers PSG additional quality on both sides. The full-back contributed seven goals and nine assists for Inter last season, surpassed by four defenders in the top 5 leagues in Europe.
And Pochettino appreciated the impact this experience could have on his team as they prepare for the next campaign.
“What we look for in all the players we want to see in the Paris Saint-Germain shirts is personality and a winning mentality,” said the former Southampton and Tottenham coach.
“These players, whom we have signed, have won at different clubs, but most of all they haven’t won anything here and will do anything to help them.”
Last season PSG ranked 11th in Ligue 1 in terms of the number of ball possession regains and Pochettino insisted that this is an area his team needs to improve in order to be successful.
While PSG recorded 2,250 recoveries in the Ligue 1 season, champions Lille were the hardest working, recovering possession 2,460 times. Signing Wijnaldum, who finished fourth for Liverpool in terms of recovery last season, could help their cause.
“The key is in the way we get the ball back, the dedication and will that each of the 11 players on the pitch shows when we don’t have the ball,” added Pochettino.
“That we have this aggression and collective effort to leave the opposition very few options. I think that will be the key. “