Dutch international Gregory van der Wiel completed his move to the club last week and will now jockey for the right-back berth alongside Captain Christophe Jallet.
Anyone who has watched PSG over the past 12-months can easily identify Jallet as one of the standout performers. His sterling displays have caught the eye of Les Bleus coach Didier Deschamps who gave him his international bow last month against Uruguay at the Stade de France. It was a real achievement for the 28-year-old – who has one of the smallest wage packets at the club – but was still able to cast a shadow over the marquee names with his consistent displays. His humility, endeavour and passion has endeared him to the Parisien faithful and when he took over the armband from Mamadou Sakho in the summer, there were not too many who disagreed with the decision.
With Marcos Ceara leaving for his homeland at the end of last season, Jallet was the only recognised right-back at the club. Milan Bisevac also sought pastures new with Olympique Lyonnais and director of football Leonardo worked extensively all through August to get one more player through the door. It looked a foregone conclusion that Anthony Reveillere was going to be the man to compete with Jallet but the 32-year-old failed a medical at Camp des Loges resulting in the deal to collapse. A host of names were linked such as Jose Bosingwa and Stephan Lichsteiner but Gregory van der Wiel of Ajax slipped under the radar of the media and completed a €6m move from Amsterdam.
At 24-years of age he has already represented the Netherlands on 35 occasions and won an array of honours at the Amsterdam Arena, ending seven year spell as an Eredivisie champion. Although he did not cover himself in glory with his performances during Euro 2012 – and given a torrid time by the Germans – he has been ever reliant for both the Oranje and his club. This is a man who also started a FIFA World Cup Final back in 2010 so his pedigree is not unattested by any means.
Worryingly though, will his arrival affect Jallet at all? Coach Carlo Ancelotti has already publically reassured the skipper that he is a fundamental member of the team but he must also have competition for his place. The Italian said; “Christophe was our only player who could play on the right side of defence. He’ll have to compete with Van der Wiel now, but I do not see that as a problem.”
Jallet’s traits mean he is a versatile member of the squad and he could be pushed forward into midfield, possibly taking the right-hand side of the front-three which he did on a number of occasions last season – and impressing too.
Despite all the ifs and buts, Les Parisiens now have two internationals competing down the right-hand side of defence and two very good players at that. Van der Wiel’s signature is a shrewd piece of business and for the money it is an absolute snip. It will be interesting to see how Ancelotti utilises both as Jallet has hardly put a foot wrong since his tenure.