Replacing Kylian Mbappé - Dembélé and Ramos signed, Kolo Muani to follow
Paris Saint-Germain have likely been tasked with one of the most unenviable jobs possible for a football club to undertake this summer: replacing Kylian Mbappé. Although the pre-season transfer saga has seemingly now come to an end, with the France international and his club accepting that he'll be staying in Paris for anotehr season, that hasn't stopped PSG from preparing for a future without Mbappé.
However, while clubs may be lining up to make an offer for Mbappé, the job or replacing one of the world’s most impressive players is no easy task. And while PSG have deeper pockets than most, their attempts to find attacking players that could not only compensate for Mbappé's expected departure next year but perhaps replace him in the long-term have proven to be very difficult indeed.
Who have PSG signed this summer?
PSG have already spent €209m on new players this summer, which may suggest that the club are well on their way to building a post-Mbappé future under their new head coach. The Ligue 1 giants initially focussed on other areas of the putch, with the vast majority of the club’s summer budget going on signing defensive midfielder Manuel Ugarte from Sporting for €60m, central defender Lucas Hernández from Bayern Munich for €45m and the free transfer of Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar.
However, following Mbappé's rather public confirmation that he will leave the club next summer, PSG have since brought in plenty of attacking reinforcements. Alongside Hugo Ekitiké, Kang-in Lee and the free transfer of Marco Asensio, the French giants have also completed the signing of Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembélé for around €50m, as well as Benfica striker Gonçalo Ramos in an initial loan deal, with a clause to make the move permanent for a reported €80m.
If that wasn't enough, the French side are also seemingly intent on adding even more firepower to the squad before Mbappé leaves. Following the €90m departure of Neymar to Al-Hilal, the Ligue 1 side have stepped up their efforts to also sign Eintracht Frankfurt forward Randal Kolo Muani. According to reports in France the 24-year-old has already agreed a five-year contract with PSG, but is waiting for the club to offer Frankfurt something close to the €100m they want for the player.
Can PSG replace Kylian Mbappé with their new signings?
Of course, trying to replace arguably the best player in the world at this moment in time is a monumental task for PSG and no single player could do exactly that. And a look at PSG’s transfer activity suggests that they’re well aware of that fact. Rather than try and sign the next Mbappé or a player of similar stature, the Ligue 1 giants have instead looked to spread the striker’s contributions over a number of new and existing players.
For example, the arrival of Ramos should go a long way to compensating for Mbappé’s goals in the long run. The Portugal international bagged 27 goals and 12 assists in 47 games for Benfica last season. Which would be an impressive return for any player. However, it does fall short of Mbappé’s record for PSG, which stood at 41 goals and 10 assists in fewer matches. Indeed, when we break it down to goal contributions per 90 minutes, it suggests that Ramos’ impressive 1.01 average is still slightly off Mbappé’s 1.29.
This is perhaps where Dembélé and Kolo Muani come in. Over the course of the 22/23 season, the Barcelona winger averaged 0.71 goals and assists per 90 minutes across all competitions while his French counterpart picked up an even more impressive 0.99 goals and assists per 90 for Frankfurt. And while that may not be as impressive as Mbappé’s, it could prove to be extremely useful when we add it to the aforementioned Portuguese forward’s average. In other words, between all three, Ramos, Kolo Muani and Dembélé could provide and attacking intent that rivals what Mbappé did on his own last season.
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Only league matches of European clubs were taken into account