[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ince being bought over by wealthy backers, Paris Saint-Germain have been the dominant force in French football and now have lofty ambitions of becoming a major player in the European scene also.
A star-studded array of foreign stars have been tempted by a move to the Parc des Princes, with the likes of proven winner Zlatan Ibrahimović, Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani moving to the French capital and contributing significantly to the team’s success.
In search of instant success, PSG have largely opted to buy international stars that are already at the top of the their game and in their prime.
One man that does not fit into this description though, but whose importance in a mouthwatering attack continues to grow, is Lucas Moura.
The Brazilian became the Ligue 1 club’s record signing when he penned a deal to move to France in 2012, spurning well-documented interest from Manchester United in the process.
Unlike the other big-name stars that were being added to Laurent Blanc’s squad, Moura was signed with his potential in mind rather than because he was already a world-class player.
Over recent years with PSG the tricky winger has been on the fringes on occasion and it has taken time for the 23-year-old to adapt to the European game and hone his considerable skills.
That said, in superb recent form and coming into his own under Blanc’s tutelage, the signs are there that Moura can now be looked at in the same light as the rest of PSG’s superstars.
The South American got on the scoresheet last night in his side’s 2-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League and put in a performance that justified the mammoth fee that PSG paid for him as a youngster.
The amount of first-team football that the winger has received during his time in France has increased season-on-season, with nine Ligue 1 starts in 2012-13 turning into 18 the following campaign and being bolstered to 22 last term.
Never guaranteed a spot in the starting XI due to the fierce competition for places, Moura has been selected in 12 of the club’s 17 Ligue 1 games this season and has been justifying his manager’s faith with some individual performances of note.
The former São Paulo attacker has been accused in the past of being wasteful when he finds himself in promising positions, but this and his decision-making have clearly been issues that the French club’s coaching staff have looked to address.
As well as being a provider, Moura has shown that he also has an eye for goal over the last couple of seasons and continues to chip in with valuable strikes.
The summer arrival of Ángel Di María from Manchester United will have concerned the Brazilian, with the Argentine rediscovering his star quality this term at the Parc des Princes.
However, despite the fact that he has the former Real Madrid man, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani all as competition for two wide roles in Blanc’s team, Moura has seen a significant amount of football.
While all of the other potential options on the flanks naturally look to get involved in-field, the Brazilian’s appeal is the fact that he performs the role of a traditional winger and is eager to take on opposition full-backs to get to the byline.
The fact that he is not a regular member of a misfiring Brazil team is somewhat confusing, while Moura’s reputation in the European game continues to grow.
With PSG through to the next stage of the Champions League and still unbeaten in Ligue 1, it is looking set to be another landmark for the capital city side.
However, despite the addition of Di María to PSG’s stars, the continued evolution of Moura has added another string to the team’s attacking bow and the Brazilian will play an important role in the club’s hunt for silverware this term.
- Tottenham Lining Up £18m Bid for Wolves Speed Demon Adama Traore – Would That Be a Good Move?
- Where could Romelu Lukaku go if he leaves Chelsea?
- The biggest snubs from the FIFPro World XI shortlist
- Sergio Aguero’s best career moments
- Champions League round of 16 draw: The previous meetings
- Europa League group stage recap – who progressed and who went out?
- Champions League group stage recap – who progressed and who went out?
- Barcelona – Where did it all go wrong?
- The decisive games in the Europa League group stage
- The decisive games in the Champions League group stage