To say Paris Saint-Germain have had an interesting summer would be an understatement, with the French champions experiencing changes across the board.
One of the good news stories for PSG this summer was a change in heart, with Kylian Mbappe signing a new contract having looked set to join Real Madrid, and that decision brought more alterations. According to reports, Mbappe’s new role in the team played some part in Leonardo being sacked as sporting director, later replaced by Luis Campos.
And then, of course, Mauricio Pochettino was sacked and replaced by Christophe Galtier, who has already made a winning start to life at PSG. But we know who Galtier is. What about Campos?
Campos and Mbappe have worked together previously while at Monaco, their good relationship a real influence in keeping a young Mbappe at the club when he wasn’t happy and had been looking to leave. While Campos wasn’t the one who brought Mbappe to Monaco, he did oversee the signings of a number of players who would later be sold for big profits after thriving during his three-year spell.
The first big sale was that of Anthony Martial, signed for just £4.5m before Manchester United paid £58m. Also on the list are Bernardo Silva (£12.1m to £43m), Thomas Lemar (£3.4m to £52.7m), Fabinho (£5.4m to £43.7m) and Tiemoue Bakayoko (£7m to £40m). It was a similar case at Campos’ next club Lille, with Nicolas Pepe signed for £9m and sold for £72m, while Victor Osimhen brought a profit of £53.9m (£13.6 to £67.5m).
In his first summer as “Football Advisor” for PSG, Campos has overseen five signings so far, and while none on paper look to be in the mould of his Monaco and Lille arrivals, they are nothing like have strengthened the French champions.
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From: Sporting CP
The first arrival at PSG this summer was one that was reportedly decided long before Campos replaced Leonardo. Nuno Mendes joined PSG in the summer of 2021 on a season-long loan with an option to buy, and impressed on the left side of their defence, taking the spot from Abdou Diallo. According to reports, PSG made the decision to trigger their option to buy on Mendes’ loan as early as October, but the deal was made official at the end of May.
Mendes has retained his spot in the starting XI under Galtier, only this time slightly further up the pitch as a left-wing-back. Given his quality, it’s hard to believe Mendes only recently turned 20.
Another arrival from the Primeira Liga, Vitinha was part of the Porto side that won the title last season, losing just one game. Although he featured on the left a couple of times towards the end of the campaign, Vitinha is a central midfielder who keeps things ticking, but can also add to the attack from deep. In the Primeira Liga last season, Vitinha scored twice and recorded three assists from 42 chances created, with 48/66 take-ons completed, 90.32% pass accuracy and a league-high 522 final third passes completed, not to mention 50 tackles.
Vitinha has already worked his way into Galtier’s starting XI, too, joining Marco Verratti in a ferocious double pivot.
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Hugo Ekitike was supposed to be signing for Newcastle United this summer. The Magpies had had an offer accepted by Reims and things appeared to be moving along nicely, only for Les rouges et blancs manager Oscar Garcia to reveal Ekitike wanted to stay with the club. Just a few weeks later, Ekitike would be on his way out of Reims, on a year-long loan to PSG with the French champions holding an option to buy.
And shortly after his arrival, Ekitike hailed Campos as a reason for him choosing to join PSG.
“I had an appointment with Luis which meant a lot to me. It was not so long ago. We talked a lot, he is someone I value a lot,” he told Le10 Sport.
“I wanted to come to PSG before this exchange, but he convinced me even more.
“I’m not setting aside everything Newcastle did for me to come. If I had to go abroad, I would have gone there. But when PSG want you and you’re French, you can’t refuse.”
From: RB Leipzig
Not many people make RB Leipzig lose money on a sale, but PSG did when they signed Nordi Mukiele. Sure, amortisation means that RB Leipzig didn’t technically lose money, which more likely explains the decision. The German club signed Mukiele from Montpellier in 2018 for £14m and after watching him grow into an excellent defence sold him to PSG for £13.5m.
Mukiele had a lot of teams interested in him this summer, with the versatility to play at centre-back and right-back/wing-back, but it was PSG who won the battle. The Frenchman hasn’t started a game for PSG yet, but in an interview with L’Equipe last month he felt he was ready to take the risk of having to fight for a spot.
He said: “There’s always some risk when you join a big club. But I think I’m ready. If you asked me that question two years ago I would have said I’m not ready. Now, I know that I am.”
And finally, the most recent signing, Renato Sanches has been killing it in France over the past few years, and was key to Lille winning Ligue 1 in 2020/21. Long gone are the days of Bayern Munich and Swansea. The third Portuguese signing of the summer for PSG, Sanches has also reunited with Galtier, having won the title together at Lille to break up PSG’s dominance of Ligue 1.
Still only 24, £12.6m is a steal for someone of Sanches’ quality and he is set to be part of PSG’s midfield for years to come, scoring on his debut just a minute after replacing Vitinha as a substitute.