Mauro Icardi has exceeded expectations at Paris Saint-Germain following his Coupe de la Ligue hat-trick, according to team-mate Marco Verratti.
Icardi’s three goals led French champions PSG past 10-man Saint-Etienne 6-1 and into the semi-finals on Wednesday.
The Argentina international forward has flourished since arriving on an initial loan deal from Serie A outfit Inter at the start of the season, scoring 17 goals across all competitions.
PSG midfielder Verratti hailed Icardi – who was linked to Juventus, Napoli and Real Madrid prior to joining Thomas Tuchel’s side – after his latest exploits in Paris midweek.
A _____ performance.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) January 8, 2020
“Mauro? He may not touch the ball, he knows the ball will reach him and he will score, he is always ready,” Verratti told Canal +.
“This is his main characteristic of Mauro. We didn’t think it was going to be as good, the first six months are always difficult, but it is incredible and we hope it will continue like this.”
Icardi has hit the ground running in the French capital, with nine of his goals coming in Ligue 1 as defending champions PSG top the standings by seven points.
3 – Mauro Icardi v St Etienne :
3 shots on target
1st time he has scored 3+ goals in all comps since March 2018 with Inter against Sampdoria (4)
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) January 8, 2020
“Starting the year well is important for everyone and for the team,” Icardi told reporters. “We already did it with the last match in the Coupe de France, we demonstrated the team we have. And today, at home, we once again demonstrated the team we had, facing another opponent, by making a great match.
“The fantastic four [Icardi, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Angel Di Maria] ? We are working to improve, to have an oiled collective game, to attack together, to defend together, to do it in the best way. We know what we have to do. That’s why we will have good results.
“We know that if we want to play with four forwards we must all make the sacrifices together. And that’s what we’ve been doing since the coach changed systems. And we’re doing it very well. “
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