PSG should go all out for N’Golo Kante
This season was supposed to herald Paris Saint-Germain's dominance on the European scene. It turned out to be an anti-climax. They crashed out in the Champions League first knockout round to holders Real Madrid. That in itself is not an embarrassment but the nature of their exit showed Les Rouge-et-Bleu are not ready to compete for the biggest trophies on offer. The club’s biggest superstar, Neymar, is rumoured to be willing to move back to Spain to join Real Madrid, having been disappointed by Ligue 1's quality.
PSG are desperate to win the Champions League. They have spent close to £1 billion on new players since the Qatari owners took charge in 2011. They don't look like stopping. Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has been a subject of interest although the 26-year-old France has stated he is not looking to leave Stamford Bridge.
Kante to PSG is a no-brainer. He is French, grew up in Paris, and is one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. Perhaps most importantly he maintains a serious attitude and dedication. His back-to-back Premier League titles, the first with Leicester and second with Chelsea, are proof in the pudding.
Chelsea signed the diminutive player from Leicester for £30 million in 2016. He has been a hit in West London, not only winning the league in his first campaign, but being named PFA Player of the Year. It was a shame he had to wait a year and an Antonio Conte meltdown before being able to display his wares in the Champions League. If PSG are serious about challenging for the Champions League players like Kante can help them. Thiago Motta is ageing. He can no longer protect the defence like Kante can.
You wouldn't know it from his demeanour but Chelsea's no.7 is fiercely ambitious. The Blues are looking like a club in decline. Roman Abramovich can't afford to sign the best players in the world anymore. Kante, whose ascent from Ligue 2 to the Premier League's top six has been nothing short of phenomenal, has outgrown the club. PSG can make him the focal point of their midfield. Pairing him alongside Marco Verratti and Adrien Rabiot would give the French champions-elect a group comparable to Bayern, Barcelona, and Real Madrid.
While the PSG project may hit a brick wall if Neymar leaves Paris that remains nothing more than rumour. It is difficult to see how the Brazilian could force his way out so soon with the club having invested €222 million Euros in him last summer. It is more difficult to see Real Madrid covering that amount.
Even if Neymar stays Chelsea will resist selling Kante. He has had an impact on the first team that only few have managed. A transfer fee north of £100 million should be enough to convince them to sell however.
Although PSG have signed attacking players to help their cause, a specialist defensive midfielder like Kante will make them more solid in the middle of the park. He can offer them that platform to express themselves in a more attacking way. Kante can be the difference for PSG going into next season. He is that good.