Paris Saint-Germain have had yet another busy week. There’s been a win, a departure and a new arrival – one that was unexpected and out of the blue!
Patrick Kluivert has been named as the new Sporting Director. The club confirmed the news yesterday, which was a bit of a shocker in truth. This was something that wasn’t foreseen and raised a few eyebrows.
It had been mooted that former employee Leonardo was considered to return to his former role but instead Les Parisiens have taken a different approach.
There is no connection between Kluivert, the club, the hierarchy nor the new coach Unai Emery, which makes the appointment a surprising one.
The club released an official statement outlining Patrick’s role. Here is a snippet from that: ‘Under the direction of Paris Saint-Germain Chairman and CEO, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, Patrick Kluivert will play an active role in the national and international development of the Club and will also be charged with defining the Club’s long-term sporting strategy, for which he will be, amongst other roles, a leading ambassador. He will also engage in liaising with the biggest clubs and players in the world.
Patrick Kluivert will work in collaboration with the General Manager Jean-Claude Blanc, and will overview the work of our new first-team coach Unai Emery and assistant sporting director Olivier Létang’.
Kluivert spoke of his delight at joining PSG by saying; “I am extremely honoured to join such a great Club as Paris Saint-Germain and to take on the role of Director of FootbalI. I will conduct my mission with great ambition and rigor. We are all in Paris to reach the very high objectives set by the Club and meet the expectations of the players and supporters alike. As I am moving to Paris, I would also like to express my gratitude to Ajax Amsterdam, the club thanks to which I discovered top-level football and which has always given me their trust.”
President Nasser Al-Khelaifi was full of praise for the new man, believing that the arrival will continue to help the club grow internationally. Nasser would say; “I am especially happy to welcome Patrick Kluivert as our new Director of Football. Everyone has known Patrick as a world-class player. Since these days, he has always kept football at the heart of his daily life. I am convinced that his great football expertise and passion for the game will help even more the Club continue its fast international growth. Following the nomination of our new coach and the selection of our future Performance Centre, the arrival of Patrick Kluivert is another strong sign of our will to begin a new cycle. Day by day, we are patiently giving life to our biggest dreams and those of our millions of supporters.”
The president alluded to the choice of the location of the new training complex. After years of logging, discussions and debate, Poissy has been given the go ahead to be Les Parisiens’ new base.
The club aim to build one of the world’s most advanced training centres in time for the 2019/20 season.
Keeping with tradition, Camp des Loges will remain part of the club as this will be home to the women’s team in three years time. This is a nice touch as Saint-Germain-en-Laye will still have links to the club.
On the pitch Unai Emery’s first game in charge resulted in a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday thanks to goals from Adrien Rabiot and Lucas Moura. The goals came after David Luiz had netted a first-half own goal.
The new gaffer was pleased with the afternoon’s work. As quoted by the club’s official site he said; “I’m very happy with the result, though that’s not the most important thing. That counts for the confidence. I’m above all happy with the players’ work. We’ve had ten days of work, and I’m very happy with what has been achieved up to now. The match was more difficult in the first half, but it was important to let the young players play. In the second half, it was a little better with players like Lucas and Aurier coming on. That’s what enabled us to win this evening.”
Finally, Lucas Digne (remember him?) has completed a surprise move to FC Barcelona for just under £14m. The Frenchman who was on loan at AS Roma last season is the Catalans second Frenchman of the week having already signed Samuel Umtiti from Lyon.
Digne’s time at Paris was underwhelming but he was unfortunate to have Mr Underrated ahead of in the pecking order – Maxwell!