Paris Saint-Germain have smashed the world transfer record to clinch the sensational signing of Neymar from Barcelona for €222million.
The Ligue 1 club agreed to personal terms on a five-year contract with the Brazil superstar and met his eye-watering release clause to bring him to the Parc des Princes.
Given the incredible fee and the great success the 25-year-old enjoyed at Camp Nou – helping them to the treble in 2014-15 – there will be a huge burden on Neymar’s shoulders as PSG aim to recapture the league title from Monaco and finally challenge for the Champions League having suffered multiple failures in recent years.
Under their wealthy Qatari owners, PSG have never been shy about splashing the cash, so here we look at how some of their highest-profile acquisitions have fared.
— Edi Cavani Official (@ECavaniOfficial) July 21, 2017
The man who Neymar has displaced as PSG’s record signing, the Uruguay striker arrived from Napoli in 2013 and has finally found his feet having been frustrated at being played out wide when Zlatan Ibrahimovic occupied the central role. Following Ibrahimovic’s departure, Cavani scored 49 goals in 50 games in all competitions last season and will hope to remain as the focal point even after Neymar’s arrival.
It was understandable that former PSG boss Laurent Blanc kept Cavani out wide in favour of Ibrahimovic, whose arrival at the Parc des Princes was the one that announced their presence as a European force. Though he clashed with former sporting director Leonardo, Ibrahimovic helped deliver PSG’s first league title since 1994 in his first season and went on to help them to three more while becoming the club’s record goalscorer with 156.
Eyebrows were raised when PSG parted with €62.8m to make a Chelsea player better known for his forays forward the world’s most expensive defender. However, Luiz helped knock Chelsea out of the Champions League in 2015 with a late leveller at Stamford Bridge and won two domestic trebles in Paris. It perhaps says more about Marquinhos’ development than Luiz that PSG were willing to sell the centre-half back to Chelsea last year.
It took a month-long transfer saga in 2012 for PSG to secure the services of a player many thought to be the best defender in the world. And, though that tag has been questioned, the skipper has regularly proven his worth at both ends of the pitch, heading in the extra-time goal that sent PSG through to the Champions League last eight at Chelsea’s expense in 2015.
Angel Di Maria
After a nightmare one-season spell at Manchester United, Di Maria has rediscovered his best form at the Parc des Princes, scoring 16 goals and registering 25 assists in Ligue 1 in two seasons. The Argentine was instrumental in the 4-0 last-16 first-leg demolition of Barca before everything went awry at Camp Nou last season.
Draxler arrived at PSG as a player who had not fulfilled his undoubted potential in Germany, but a switch to the French capital has provided him with a new lease of life. Brilliant in the first leg against Barca, the versatile forward scored 10 goals following his January switch from Wolfsburg and appears primed to be a key part of Unai Emery’s plans.
11 – Julian Draxler has made 11 touches in the opp box yesterday, record for a player against Barcelona in all comps this season. Poison. pic.twitter.com/aggmWXFUt0
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) February 15, 2017
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