Tuesday, April 25, 2017

PSG still adjusting to life after Zlatan, says Emery

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 29 Nov 2016

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Paris Saint-Germain boss Unai Emery says his side are still adjusting to life without star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The former Sweden captain hit a stunning 50 goals in 51 games to help PSG to a second domestic quadruple in a row last season before he left the French capital to join Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.

Emery – who took charge following the departure of previous head coach Laurent Blanc in June – struggled to coax consistent performances out of his side in the early stages of the campaign, although a run of six wins in seven Ligue 1 matches has taken the champions to within a point of leaders Nice.

And the former Sevilla boss accepts that the team is still learning to play without Ibrahimovic as the focal point of the attack.

“When I arrived, I was told a lot about Zlatan Ibrahimovic,” he said on Tuesday. “It’s normal, he was one of the best player in the club history. I think we are learning to play without him.”

Edinson Cavani has gone some way towards silencing critics who questioned his ability to emerge from Ibrahimovic’s shadow, with the Uruguay international having scored 18 goals in 17 appearances this term, including two in the victory over Lyon on Sunday.

Emery has been encouraged by his displays but suggested that he could still move for additional attacking players in the next transfer window.

“Edinson Cavani scores a lot, he plays good matches when he has confidence,” he said. “The idea of the club is to grow, step by step. I have to work with the team and the club will work on the rest [when it comes to transfers].”

Emery confirmed that Layvin Kurzawa (hip) and Javier Pastore (knee) will both sit out Wednesday’s Ligue 1 game with Angers at Parc des Princes.

Blaise Matuidi is also a doubt due to a muscular discomfort, but Angel Di Maria could be available after missing the win over Lyon and 2-2 Champions League draw with Arsenal with a hamstring problem.

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