Assessing PSG’s midfield options amid Matuidi’s new contract

Paris Saint-Germain have put an end to speculation over Blaise Matuidi’s future, with the France international signing a new four-year contract at the Parc des Prince outfit.

The news ends rumours that the combative midfielder could be on his way to the Premier League, while also reinforces the French capital city side’s options in the centre of the park.

Had Matuidi’s contract ran down and he left the Paris-based club, Laurent Blanc’s men would still have had a glut of players to select from the centre of the park.

However, with the former Saint-Étienne man extending his stay, PSG have as impressive a central midfield as just about any team in European football.

Matuidi himself is a key man for the Ligue 1 leaders and has this season proven himself as one of the most robust and dynamic midfielders in the continent.

The 26-year-old has started 21 of PSG’s 26 domestic games this term despite competition for places and has also cemented a place in the French national side ahead of this summer’s World Cup.

Question marks over Matuidi’s role at the club sprung up after the January acquisition of Yohan Cabaye from Newcastle, but despite the new man’s quality he has retained his place in the starting XI.

Cabaye has plenty of experience after winning Ligue 1 with Lille and has returned to his homeland a better player after two-and-a-half years in England.

However, the one-time Toon Army favourite has quite the task to get into PSG’s side on a regular basis.

Marco Verratti and Blaise MatuidiDespite the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimović and Edinson Cavani grabbing all the headlines, Thiago Motta is an unsung hero for the French powerhouses.

The ex-Inter man’s control of possession, clever distribution of the ball and calming figure in front of the side’s back four make him a virtual omnipresent in the PSG starting XI. He has also signed a new contract to stay with the club this week.

With Blanc operating using a bespoke 4-3-3 system, a central midfield trident of Matuidi, Cabaye and Motta would take some beating. However, the options in the boiler room do not end there.

Marco Verratti is another player who has been repeatedly linked with a switch back to his homeland, but seems settled and playing well in France. Adjudged as the natural successor to Andrea Pirlo for the Azzurri, the 21-year-old’s poise on the ball and creative skills are a marvel to behold.

Veratti cannot be adjudged as the only young star with aspirations of superstardom though, as Adrien Rabiot has also shown at 18 that he could be a world-beater.

Sublimely talented with immaculate technique, the teenager has played his part in PSG’s domestic dominance this term, admittedly largely from the bench.

With the versatile Javier Pastore arguably able to take up a position as one of those central three midfield players, Blanc has enviable options in the heart of his team.

Keeping all these players happy while still maintaining a winning formula will be one of the main tasks for the PSG manager going forward.

As continued rumblings over the big-spending side’s desire to bring Paul Pogba back to France refuse to go away, PSG’s midfield options are nothing short of eye-watering.

By
I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo, goal.com, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City. I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
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