In Focus: Poch must fit Ramos and Co together to solve PSG puzzle
Paris Saint-Germain are not messing about.
The Ligue 1 giants have been aggressive in the transfer market this summer, adding five players to their squad before the end of Euro 2020.
And we are not just talking about any old players. They have recruited a trio of league winners, as well as the man recently named Player of the Tournament at the European Championship.
But how will they all fit into Mauricio Pochettino’s plans at the Parc des Princes?
Gini Wijnaldum's remarkable versatility will significantly strengthen PSG’s armoury.
While at Liverpool, he spent the majority of his time acting as a safety net for the full-backs to bomb on.
Though often overlooked, he was a key part of the team that won the Champions League and ended the club’s 30-year drought without a Premier League title.
For the Netherlands, Wijnaldum, 30, is a completely different player and is something of a goal machine when deployed as an attacking midfielder.
Pochettino will likely use him as an attacking threat — perhaps similar to how he utilised Dele Alli at Tottenham — especially given he already has so many defensive midfield options at his disposal.
PSG are the latest team to realise how valuable a full-back is in the modern game.
Liverpool shaped their system around Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson, while Manchester City have invested heavily in full-backs since the arrival of Pep Guardiola.
After using Colin Dagba and Alessandro Florenzi there to varying degrees of success last term, PSG splashed the cash to bring Achraf Hakimi to the French capital.
The 22-year-old speedster will add a different dynamic to Pochettino's defence and his arrival could see the tactician revert to his favoured 3-4-3 system.
Statistically, Hakimi is perhaps the best attacking full-back in Europe, ranking exceptionally well for every attacking metric.
When compared with his counterparts, he is in the 91st percentile or higher for touches in the opposition penalty area (4.44), progessive carries (7.20) and progressive passes received (5.63) per 90 minutes.
The former Borussia Dortmund star can dominate the right flank single-handedly and he is a creative menace.
Hakimi is incredibly direct and PSG are undoubtedly going to benefit from his arrival.
Portuguese destroyer Danilo Pereira joined PSG on loan last summer. After impressing during the 2020-21 campaign, his move was made permanent.
He filled in at centre-back on occasion last term but his primary role is as a defensive midfielder.
The 29-year-old is one of the best in the world at being a disruptor in the middle of the pitch.
He ranked in the 80th percentile or higher for interceptions (1.71), clearances (3.49) and aerial duels won per 90 last season (1.87).
And when compared with Europe's other central midfielders, he was in the top 88th percentile for passing accuracy (92.3%).
You know exactly what you are getting with the ex-Porto man.
PSG's swoop for Sergio Ramos could prove to be one of the signings of the summer — and the Spaniard did not cost penny after joining on a free transfer.
During his 16 years with Real Madrid, the 35-year-old won everything imaginable.
PSG are desperate to win the Champions League and bringing in Ramos, with all of his experience, could get them over the line.
Though the veteran has primarily been used in a back four, it is quite feasible his new manager will make him the central figure in a back three and allow him to dictate proceedings from that area of the pitch.
Crowned the Player of the Tournament at Euro 2020 after his exploits in two penalty shootout victories, the capture of Gianluigi Donnarumma looks better with every passing day.
The 22-year-old keeper was available on a free after his AC Milan contract expired and was strongly linked with Juventus before agreeing a five-year deal in Paris.
Composed, dominant and experienced, the Italy international could feature in goal for PSG for the next 15 years.
The 6ft 5in shot-stopper may ultimately become the bridge between the current crop and the future for the Ligue 1 side.
He is a huge presence between the sticks and comes to the fore when it matters most — just look at his European Championship performances.
Donnarumma’s impending arrival is the cherry on top of a potentially transformative summer in the transfer market for PSG.