LIGUE 1

Tuchel insists Layvin Kurzawa will not leave PSG in January

Layvin Kurzawa has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal, but Thomas Tuchel says that the full-back is needed and won't be moving on this month.

We need him - Tuchel rules out Kurzawa departure from PSG in January

Thomas Tuchel stressed how important Layvin Kurzawa is to Paris Saint-Germain and declared that the player is a valuable member of his squad amid media speculation that the defender is about to join Arsenal.

Kurzawa can leave on a free in July

Reports this week suggested left-back Kurzawa, who joined PSG from Monaco in 2015, was set to become Mikel Arteta's first signing at Arsenal. However, the Frenchman joining on a free transfer at the end of the season is said to be more likely than a move this month.

Kurzawa has been limited to 30 Ligue 1 appearances since Tuchel took over at PSG in May 2018, with the former Borussia Dortmund coach preferring to play Juan Bernat at left-back. However, with Bernat injured, Kurzawa featured against Monaco on Wednesday in a 4-1 victory, and Tuchel claimed the defender is currently too important to be allowed to leave in January.

"Honestly, we need him," Tuchel told a news conference ahead of PSG's Coupe de France meeting with Lorient on Sunday. "I haven't spoke with Kurzawa or anyone else about his departure. Now, we have Juan Bernat for the position, but he is injured. So, what should we do without Kurzawa? He played well, he is there. He is training really well and it is always the same. He has to show that he is ready, that we can count on him. He has played some great games for us, and if he is still fit, he will play [on Sunday]. He did very well in Monaco, it is a good thing and he is an important player for the left side."

PSG's growing injury list

Kurzawa is not the only back-up player PSG have had to call on in recent outings, with Tuchel contending with a long injury list which also includes Edinson Cavani, Thomas Meunier, Thilo Kehrer, Marquinhos and Marco Verratti. With so many key figures out, the coach warned his side against any complacency ahead of their trip to Lorient, though he is confident PSG will have enough quality to progress.

"I am sure my players have the right mindset - a winning mentality," Tuchel continued. "On the other hand, maybe we will change a few things out on the pitch, but we have to be careful that we do not expect too much from the guys. We could be a tough game as Lorient are one of the stronger teams in Ligue 2. We are also away from home and Lorient have nothing to lose. That's why we do not want to expect too much from the guys who did not play a lot before. We have to be very focused, very careful. We have to play with the same mindset, put in a serious performance and, after that, I am convinced that we are able to win again, but it's never easy."