Even with Messi and Neymar, PSG 'will go backwards' if Mbappe leaves

By Sports Desk October 20, 2021

Paris Saint-Germain will go backwards if Kylian Mbappe leaves for free, according to former midfielder Jerome Rothen. 

Mbappe's contract is due to expire at the end of the season and he has been heavily linked with a free transfer to Real Madrid, whose president Florentino Perez this month said he would have news about the 22-year-old in January. 

The World Cup-winning attacker has scored 138 goals and supplied 62 assists in 184 appearances since joining PSG in 2017, developing into one of the most exciting talents in world football. 

He scored the opening goal in the 3-2 Champions League win over RB Leipzig on Tuesday but blazed a penalty over in second-half stoppage time following a Lionel Messi double.

Still, Rothen believes it is Mbappe, not Messi or Neymar, who is essential to PSG's future.

Their win percentage in all competitions drops by 5.7 per cent to 69.8 per cent when Mbappe does not feature, while their average goals scored slips from 2.7 to 2.3 in his absence. 

"If Mbappe leaves for free, PSG will go backwards I am sure," Rothen said on RMC Sport. 

"It's a chance to have one of the best players in the world. He is the player who best represents Paris Saint-Germain today, the player who often makes the difference and makes you win the big games. 

"It must be shown to Mbappe and his entourage, that the project is around Mbappe, not anyone else. It's not around Lionel Messi or Neymar. 

"Of course, Lionel Messi remains Lionel Messi. Except that today, we see he can disappear for 20 or 30 minutes." 

Mbappe revealed this month that he asked to leave PSG in the close season so they could get money from selling him and find a replacement. 

Messi has a contract at the Parc des Princes until June 2023, with the option for another year, while Neymar's deal runs until 2025. 

Related items

  • Barcelona stalwart Pique: I don't want to let Xavi down Barcelona stalwart Pique: I don't want to let Xavi down

    Gerard Pique revealed he feels "added pressure" as he does not want to let former team-mate and new Barcelona head coach Xavi down.

    The centre-back has started all three games of the new era under Xavi, who was appointed in the wake of Ronald Koeman's dismissal at the end of October.

    Barca have won twice while drawing the other of Xavi's first three games and currently sit in 10th in LaLiga, 10 points behind leaders Real Madrid.

    Pique now feels an added incentive and pressure to perform for the former Blaugrana midfielder, who he played with 261 times during the Catalan club's halcyon days.

    "Xavi has arrived and has set standards like many coaches," Pique told Spanish television show El Hormiguero on Tuesday. 

    "They are necessary to demand orders and we are going to fulfil them all as it has always been in the past.

    "It puts added pressure on me to have Xavi as a coach, you don't want to let him down.

    "Morally I have to give him my best and if my performance is not the best I feel like I'm failing him."

    Barca's challenge has mounted this term following the departure of Lionel Messi, who ended a 21-year association with the Spanish giants as he joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.

    Pique explained the difficulties of seeing Messi leave as he reminisced on a glory period with the Argentine superstar, who collected a record-extending seventh Ballon d'Or on Monday.

    "It was very hard, we played together since we were 14 years old," he added. "It was very hard from a sporting and personal point of view. Things haven't gone well for us at the start of the season.

    "I am happy for him and his seventh Ballon d'Or proves that he is the best of all time.

    "He has gone to a new country and a new culture. It's difficult, it happened to me when I was 17 when I went to Manchester [United]. Leo has gone with his family and I went on my own, but it's hard."

    Pique has no ambitions to leave Barca, though he has been gradually preparing himself for a potential retirement.

    "Many team-mates say that when you retire it's hard. You have had this routine since you were little," the 34-year-old continued.

    "It takes you a long time to adapt to the new life. People can take a year or more. And people recognise you less and less in the street and generations go by. It's hard.

    "I have been preparing myself for this life for a long time. Investing in business, projects, [and so on] to have something to do after I retire.

    "The key is to have something to do after leaving football. But clearly, I'm going to miss football."

  • Chiellini: Juventus has given us all so much, it is time to give back Chiellini: Juventus has given us all so much, it is time to give back

    Giorgio Chiellini insists he and his team-mates are determined to repay the faith shown in them by Juventus and help put their recent struggles behind them.

    The Bianconeri bounced back from successive defeats by Chelsea and Atalanta with a routine 2-0 win over bottom side Salernitana in Serie A.

    Goals from Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata sealed victory for the visitors at Stadio Arechi. Juve dominated, enjoying 73.9 per cent of the ball, having 18 attempts, with seven on target, and finishing the match with a 92.9 per cent passing accuracy in contrast to their hosts' completion rate of 75.9.

    Dybala sliced a late penalty over the bar – his first spot-kick miss for Juve since 2017 – but the three points were already assured. 

    But despite the win, Juve remain seventh in the Serie A table and seven points off the top four after their opening 15 matches.

    Massimiliano Allegri has claimed Juve cannot be considered as title contenders, though Chiellini is still driven to improve.

    "It was a good performance, but the coach used the right words yesterday and today to let us realise what we need to do," Chiellini told DAZN.

    "We need a sense of responsibility, don't do anything extraordinary, just do it with the right mentality. 

    "We played it clean today; it doesn't always work, but we managed it this evening. We knew it would be difficult, but we held out.

    "Juventus have given so much to me and all my team-mates, so this is the time to give back. 

    "We must all stay close to this club and together, we'll get out of this situation."

  • Ellen White becomes England women's top scorer in record 20-0 win over Latvia Ellen White becomes England women's top scorer in record 20-0 win over Latvia

    Ellen White became England women's all-time top scorer as she netted a hat-trick in a record-breaking 20-0 demolition of Latvia in World Cup qualifying.

    The Manchester City forward, making her 101st appearance for her country, equalled Kelly Smith's record of 106 goals for England after just six minutes at the Keepmoat Stadium.

    White, who achieved the mark in 16 games fewer than Smith, surpassed the milestone just three minutes later before adding her third – one of four hat-tricks scored by England on Tuesday – after the interval.

    The 32-year-old now has 48 goals for the Lionesses, averaging almost a goal per game, following England's record competitive win. Their 13-0 thrashing of Hungary in October 2005 was the previous biggest margin of victory.

    In total England, who had hit double figures 10 times previously since the team started in 1972, had 10 different goalscorers and over their two group matches against Latvia have attempted 121 shots while facing none in return, according to Opta data.

    England remain top of their World Cup qualifying group, with a perfect six wins from six games, in which they have managed 53 goals and conceded none in reply.

    White is also the second-highest scorer in Women's Super League history, netting 58 times in 126 appearances for Arsenal, Notts County, Birmingham and Manchester City.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.