PSG give up on search for the new Leo Messi

PSG have been shedding talent in recent years despite a yearning to unearth a new global star. Tanguy Kouassi and Adil Aocuhiche look set to leave this summer.

PSG give up on search for the new Leo Messi

Back in 2012, PSG owner Nasser Al-Khelaïfi stated that the perennial Ligue 1 champions were intent on nurturing a new young star to assume the mantle of Leo Messi, a target that the Parisians decided to fabricate themselves after failing to lure the Barcelona and Argentina captain to the Parc de Princes. The premise was simple: combine top-level talent with a youth academy capable of producing players that would eventually reach the level of Messi, Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, a year ago PSG announced that the academy would be dissolved as a result of Financial Fair Play considerations with the intention of promoting their most promising youngsters straight to the first team squad. But the sales of Stanley Nsoki, Moussa Diaby, Christopher Nkunku, Timothy Weah and Artur Zagre, all brought through the youth system at the Parc des Princes, were deemed necessary to balance the books.

Now PSG are on the verge of losing two of their most promising young stars this summer: Adil Aocuhiche and Tanguy Kouassi,whose contracts expire in June. Both players are eager for senior-level action and that is unlikely to happen in Paris, where a bloated squad leaves little room for promotion. Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani are to be released but there are still a raft of senior players that leaves Thomas Tuchel unable to guarantee the likes of Julian Draxler,Eric Maxim Choupo.Moting and Leandro Paredes a game.

PSG unable to retain promising stars

The talent drain at PSG has been constant since 2013, when Mamadou Sakho left for Liverpool and Youssouf Sabaly went to Évian to seek first team football. Kingsley Coman followed a year later and has flourished at Bayern Munich after a spell at Juventus and become a fixture in the France national team. Matteo Guendouzi, Odssone Edouard, Jonathan Ikoné, Jean-Kevin Augustin, Moussa Dembélé and Yacine Adli have all also departed for greener pastures.

Despite a prolific academy, only Adrien Rabiot (now at Juventus) and Presnel Kimpembe have emerged from the outh ranks to gain any weight in the first team. Al-Khelaïfi’s dream of producing a talent in the mold of Mbappé, Neymar or Messi appears to be over, although despite FFP regulations PSG are hardly struggling to attract the current crème de la crème to the Parc des Princes.