Wednesday, July 15, 2020

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

SoccerNews in English Premier League 18 Jan 2020

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Thomas Tuchel has emphasised Layvin Kurzawa’s importance to Paris Saint-Germain amid speculation the full-back is about to join Arsenal.

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 encounter with Lorient on Sunday.

“I didn’t talk 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 did 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.”

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, Tuchel warned his side against any complacency ahead of their trip to Lorient, though he is confident PSG will have enough quality to progress.

“Talking about attitude, I am sure they have a good one, the one necessary to win and I am convinced we are doing that,” Tuchel said.

“On the other hand, maybe we will change some things on the pitch, but we have to be cautious that we do not expect too much from the guys. It may be a tough game.

“It is a stronger team in Ligue 2. It is an away game and it is a game where Lorient have nothing to lose. This is 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, being serious and, after that, I am convinced that we are able to win again, but it is never easy.”

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