a problem for PSG and for football ”


Gianluigi Donnarumma, upon his arrival at the Parc des Princes on September 11.

IThere are several ways to interpret the recruitment of Gianluigi Donnarumma by Paris-Saint-Germain this summer. First, like a great economic operation: at the end of his contract at AC Milan, the goalkeeper was not subject to any transfer compensation. From this point of view, the “market opportunity” was unavoidable.

Provided he confirms his great qualities, the young (22 years) European champion of nations constitutes an investment which promises both sporting and financial benefits. At least in the long term, since he started the season as a replacement for Keylor Navas, playing only two Ligue 1 games.

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On a human level, the operation is less brilliant. Arrived in 2019, the Costa Rican is the goalkeeper of very high level who has long missed PSG, still irreproachable during the difficult last season, leader of the locker room. Throwing him such a competitor in the paws sounds like a cheap blow, if not like a mistake.

It has become common to object that at this level there is no valid feeling. This amounts to claiming a rather saddening cynicism, and to contradict the idea that few teams plagued by tension and divisions achieve great victories.

The job hierarchy

We can also, by way of parenthesis, notice that nothing obliged Donnarumma to choose a club in which he would not be guaranteed to play. However, it would be necessary to question the omnipotence of agents like his, Mino Raiola, and a parenthesis would not be enough.

The custom, in the clubs, is rather to find a number two of sufficiently good level to replace the number one punctually, and of enough good composition to accept his rank, if not resign himself to it. There needs to be a clear hierarchy for this position, repeat the specialists, otherwise the two rivals will be weakened. The doormen, very exposed, need certainty.

In Marseille, coach Jorge Sampaoli made no secret that Spaniard Pau Lopez now had his preference, at the expense of Steve Mandanda. Cruel, the decision has the merit of clarity, and a sporting justification: Lopez is better suited to the playing principles of his coach.

The Navas-Donnarumma competition is part of the continuity of the sports policy of the PSG, which first tends to stack talents – even one on top of the other – before asking the question of their complementarity or of the group’s balance. In a club where any star takes as an offense his replacement during the game, a non-tenure is an outrage.

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