The 22-year-old world champion is the most used outfield player since the start of the season in Paris.
“For me, this is the 60th game of the season, and not the ninth of the new season.” This is what Kylian Mbappé declared at the end of October, on the PSG website. The Ile-de-France striker is however not the type to drag his feet to play ball… Not so long ago, he even trumpeted loudly his desire to continue the season with Paris, the Euro with the France A team and the Tokyo Olympics, with Sylvain Ripoll’s Bleuets. A football bulimic. “I love to play, I love this sport, I always love to be on the pitch, so you will never see me complaining about matches. But to say that it is not easy to manage, it is not a complaint, it is an observation ”, he added in this same interview. A physical and especially mental weariness which is understandable after having chained the finals of national cups, the “Final 8” of the Champions League and the resumption of the 2020-21 financial year. No time to breathe. All with an even denser program than usual.
All lights on green
Add to that the Covid-19, which Mbappé contracted at the very beginning of the season, and you will understand better that the person concerned has sometimes seemed out of breath, out of form, without spring in recent months. He also experienced several more or less significant physical problems, including a thigh injury. And it could have been worse, the 22-year-old world champion having long sailed “in a red zone” in terms of risk of injury, as Thomas Tuchel indicated at the end of last year, when he was still officiating. at Paris Saint-Germain.
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But that was before. Because the international tricolor (42 caps, 16 goals) is in full swing. There was only to see him run like a madman at the very end of the match last Wednesday, against Bayern (0-1), when he had already spared no effort throughout the meeting, to convince himself that he has the reserve, the safe, the juice to spare. We can not also perform services like that of Lyon (victory 4-2), Barcelona (victory 4-1) or Munich (victory 3-2) while not being in full possession of its physical resources and costs. on the mental level. However, Mauricio Pochettino does not spare it especially, not to mention Didier Deschamps. Some were offended to see him play in Strasbourg (4-1 victory), just before Bayern. “The best way to be ready for him is to play,” retorted the Argentinian technician, on Canal +. We are professionals, the staff too, we try to make the best decisions for the team. People can say whatever they want… Everyone has their truth. I can’t please everyone. But he’s a player who is happy when he’s on the pitch. “
18 out of 19 possible matches and 16 starts under Pochettino
Suddenly, “Poche” does not ask a question and aligns Mbappé again and again. The former Monegasque has played 3,114 minutes in 40 matches since the start of the season. Which makes him the most used Parisian field player in 2020-21. Only Keylor Navas spent more time on the pitch (3150). Since taking command of Pochettino, Mbappé has played all matches, except for the trip to Bordeaux (0-1). And again, he was suspended for accumulating yellow cards. Mbappé under Pochettino, it is 18 matches out of 19 possible, including 16 in the eleven and 12 having played the entire game. The only thing that “tires” him are the criticisms that he sometimes seems to consider unfair. A playing machine. And a scoring machine too. Mbappé is 33 achievements and no less than ten assists in 2020-21.
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One thing is certain: as long as the medical staff does not alert him, Mauricio Pochettino would be wrong to deprive himself. And the former coach of Tottenham should again start his number 7 this Sunday (1 p.m.), during the 33rd day of L1, against AS Saint-Etienne. Especially since the stakes are high: after the Lille draw on Friday, against Montpellier (1-1), PSG can get closer to the top in the standings. And in the absence of Neymar Jr, Leo Paredes, “Gana” Gueye (suspended), Keylor Navas, Abdou Diallo, Marquinhos and Juan Bernat (injured), the Parisians will need the talents of Kylian Mbappé in order to seize this opportunity and not to break the dynamic born of the qualification for the semifinals of C1.
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A finding that also applies to the seasons to come, but that’s another story… Under contract until 2022, like Neymar Jr, Mbappé has not yet extended. “The club is doing everything possible to extend Neymar and Mbappé”, affirms Pochettio, at the Cadena SER. Which Pochettino says he is “optimistic” about the French and promises that he will “(fight) with all (his) strength so that he stays”. To see if it will be enough. For Neymar Jr, there is already no more suspense: it remains. In the meantime, there is a game to be won this Sunday. And a new opportunity to shine for Mbappé.
PSG decimated. Hit in the shoulder, goalkeeper Keylor Navas will miss the match of the 33rd day of L1 against Saint-Etienne, Sunday (1 p.m.), at the Parc des Princes. Injured against Bayern, respectively in the adductor in the first leg and in the calf, in the return, Marquinhos and Abdou Diallo will not resume training until the end of next week, as indicated by the club in the capital. Alexandre Letellier (thigh) and Juan Bernat (knee) will also miss the call against the Greens. Finally, Neymar, Leo Paredes and Idrissa Gueye are suspended, bringing the number of unavailable players to eight! Good news ? Back in training for several days now, Mauro Icardi and Layvin Kurzawa are operational. Second in the standings, the Parisians have the opportunity to come back to one point behind Lille in the event of success against ASSE.