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What Next for PSG as Kylian Mbappe is Leaving Paris Saint-Germain?

Paris Saint-Germain took on Nantes on 21st February without Kylian Mbappe in their starting XI and maybe this was a glimpse of the future.

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Soccer Football – Ligue 1 – Paris St Germain v Nantes – Parc des Princes, Paris, France – March 4, 2023 Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring their fourth goal and becomes Paris St Germain’s all time top goalscorer REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Mbappe was dropped by coach Luis Enrique on Sunday night after having played 90 minutes against visitors Real Sociedad in the Champions League in midweek and then revealing privately his intention to leave PSG in summer at the end of the season.

Mbappe was also rested before the Sociedad match as a precaution due to an ankle knock against Lille on 12th February. Other than that the number of times Mbappe has been left out of the starting XI has been few and far between over since he was signed by PSG in 2017.

  1. How many goals has Mbappe scored in Ligue 1 this season?

    21 goals

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Facing the Reality: PSG’s Transition Beyond Mbappe

In reference to what has happened this past week, it felt like a shift in powers.

Has Mbappe’s revelation over his impending exit made rotation easier and end his untouchable status? Luis Enrique though didn’t have such thoughts as he said after his side’s 2-0 away win. “There was a Champions League match during the week and we needed energy to be competitive, we had to give playing time to those who didn’t have it in Europe. Our goal is ambitious and I need all players involved to achieve it.”

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But a PSG side without Mbappe will be the norm soon enough. The defending Ligue 1 champions and current leaders will have chance to shrug off the spotlight and the baggage that comes with having a storied indvidual like Kylian Mbappe.

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FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Ligue 1 – RC Strasbourg v Paris St Germain – Stade de la Meinau, Strasbourg, France – May 27, 2023 Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

The loss of Kylian Mbappe also means the loss of a game changer as he justifiably showed a glimpse for the umpteenth time. He came on after the 60th minute of the game on Saturday against Nantes. Won a penalty on his own, thanks to his immensely individual prowess and scored the penalty, won the match for PSG. Job done.

PSG have been spoilt with these moments of brilliance from the soon to be Madrid bound player. But, now change is coming and the impact will be huge both on and off the field.

PSG have always been expecting for life after Mbappe owing to the speculations about his future have rumbled on through almost every transfer window over the past two years.

However, this time it’s real and the conclusion feels more concrete. Even though it may not have been publicly announced, nor has his new club (read Real Madrid) formally agreed.

But it’s not going to be easy. Mbappe is not just any player approaching his mid-thirties at the twilight of his career and not just because of his talent as well. It’s because he is THE MOST influential French player ever to have ever worn PSG’s shirt.

Mbappe is arguably one of the best players in the world today and has already established himself as PSG’s record goal-scorer by the age of 25. He’s broken multiple records since he signed from Monaco at 18 years old, initially on loan that later turned into a permanent contract worth €180million a year later.

Kylian Mbappe Image via Reuters What Next for PSG as Kylian Mbappe is Leaving Paris Saint-Germain?
Soccer Football – Champions League – Group H – Paris St Germain v Juventus – Parc des Princes, Paris, France – September 6, 2022 Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

He has scored the most goals for the Parisians both in France and in Europe. Mbappe has also helped France win the World Cup at 2018, scored in consecutive World Cup Finals, including a hat-trick. He’s won the tournament’s Golden Boot, and gone on to lead France as a captain.

He is the most prolific and consistent goal-scorer the French league has ever witnessed since Jean-Pierre Papin was rampaging for Marseille in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

And if he goes on to win the Ligue 1 Golden Boot again this season, which seems inevitable, he will have achieved six consecutive times and that is of course never been done before by any player.

How Can You Possibly Fill in For That Kind of a Player?

Mbappe left the World Cup 2022 absolutely dejected with the Golden Boot, even though France had lost in the Finals. And his successes outside the game makes him stand out as well, making him one of the most popular and best players.

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Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Final – Argentina v France – Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar – December 18, 2022 France’s Kylian Mbappe after receiving the Golden Boot award during the trophy ceremony REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

Mbappe’s connection with PSG, has sometimes seemed more like a business deal, focusing more on attracting international attention to improve his image and make money. And that might explain why his connection with the PSG fans hasn’t always been perfect. Some fans have been unhappy about his uncertain future with the club, but many still care about him.

Recently, when Mbappe was given an ultimatum to sign a new contract or leave by PSG, fans were cautious about discussing it, understanding the club’s position but also worried about losing a beloved player.

Mbappe is famous worldwide but he’s especially loved in Paris, where he was born and grew up. It would be a huge blow for PSG to lose Mbappe and that too in the hands of Real Madrid, undoubtedly one of the biggest and best clubs in the world for free.

PSG’s way of running is also changing, focusing more on younger players like their loaned prodigy Xavi Simmons, academy product Warren Zaïre-Emery and a new style of play under their new coach. They’ve also spent money on new players such as Kolo Muani, Goncalo Ramis, Manuel Ugarte, Moscorado and built a new training center. They’ve also found new investors, which might change how the club is run.

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Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Final – Argentina v France – Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar – December 18, 2022 France’s Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring their third goal to complete his hat-trick REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

PSG will have to find ways new ways to succeed losing Mbappe. But they have some very capable players who could step up and carry the mantle forward like Ousmane Dembele, Marco Asensio, Lucas Hernandez & Co.

PSG is ready for Mbappe to leave despite the challenges. They’ve been planning for this day to come for a while and now they can focus on building a new team for the future. But losing a player like Mbappe will definitely be a big change for PSG.


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