When Paris Saint-Germain let Lionel Messi walk as a free agent to Inter Miami and sold Neymar Jr. to Al-Hilal for a reported €90 million, many wondered how the capital club would replace their production.
Nonetheless, a few games into the 2023-24 season, Football Transfer’s Robin Bairner states that PSG is better off without their two former star players. How exactly? Bairner notes that this group has a different mentality than the one featuring Messi and Neymar.
“A raft of talented yet hungry new arrivals have joined, headlined by Ousmane Dembele from Barcelona,” Bairner wrote. “This was a complete PSG display [the win over Marseille] and, what’s more, it was better balanced than anything seen at the club when Messi and Neymar ran the attack alongside [Kylian] Mbappé.
“What of Mbappe in all this? He limped off injured in the first half with what proved a minor problem, having had little impact on the match. Such was PSG’s poise in this encounter. The team barely missed a beat. It was the clearest sign that the Parc des Princes side are better placed than they have been in years.”
The capital club started the season slowly, with a pair of draws, and even hit a bump in the road with their recent loss to OGC Nice. However, PSG is beginning to find a groove with their convincing wins over Borussia Dortmund and Olympique de Marseille.
Furthermore, this squad isn’t relying on superstar magic to save them. Mbappé only played 30 minutes in the victory over Marseille, and the team tacked on three goals without him on the pitch for a 4-0 win.
The UEFA Champions League match against Newcastle United on Oct. 4 at St. James’ Park will tell if the club doesn’t need those two superstars.