Opinion

Mauricio Pochettino to PSG makes sense for so many people

Tom Gott
Mauricio Pochettino is almost back in work
Mauricio Pochettino is almost back in work / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

Paris Saint-Germain were obviously in a giving mood this Christmas as they gave manager Thomas Tuchel - who led them to the Champions League final last season - a pink slip; how kind.

PSG opted to call time on Tuchel's tenure at the Parc des Princes after an underwhelming start to the season, and they have named former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino as his successor.

It's a hugely surprising move, but at the same time, it all makes so much sense.

Pochettino in Paris could be fascinating
Pochettino in Paris could be fascinating / Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Let's start with the obvious one: Pochettino is an outstanding manager who had been out of work for over a year and was raring to get going again.

It's interesting that news of Pochettino's move to PSG comes at the same time as normal suitors Manchester United and Real Madrid have regained trust in their managers. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Zinedine Zidane aren't going anywhere soon, and Pochettino knows that now.

If he stayed quiet and waited for either of those clubs to move for him, he'd be risking fading into anonymity. After all, if he's such a good coach, how can he be out of work for so long? He needs a job soon, and PSG have come knocking at the perfect time.

Fortunately for Pochettino, PSG aren't just any club. In European football, they're as close to a guaranteed trophy haul as you're likely to find.

PSG are regular trophy-winners
PSG are regular trophy-winners / Xavier Laine/Getty Images

The Argentine is well respected by most, but a common criticism of his career is his lack of major silverware. For all the hysteria he created during his time with Spurs, he actually has nothing to show for it.

PSG, who have dominated French football for the best part of a decade, are expected to win the treble every year and are also among the favourites to compete for the Champions League. Even if Pochettino can't add Europe's biggest prize, he'll surely start building up his trophy cabinet soon enough.

He's already familiar with PSG as well, having spent two years as a player there between 2001 and 2003, and that affinity with the club is thought to have played a part in his decision to take the job.

So, it works for PSG and it works for Pochettino, but who else does it work for?

Pochettino is close with Alli
Pochettino is close with Alli / TF-Images/Getty Images

How about Dele Alli?

There's a sub-text here which needs exploring. PSG were keen on landing Dele during the summer and have retained their interest as the Tottenham midfielder's struggles under Jose Mourinho have continued.

PSG have brought in the man who turned Dele into an England international and made him look like one of the most valuable midfielders on the planet. You tell me if that's a coincidence.

If PSG needed any extra incentive for Dele to choose them, they may well have just found it.

What's that? You want another player who could benefit from this? Go on then: Christian Eriksen.

Eriksen is likely to be on the move
Eriksen is likely to be on the move / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Inter have already confirmed that the Dane is free to leave the club in January and he's expected to sign for someone in a cut-price deal, and now a move to PSG may well have just flown up his list of priorities.

At Spurs, Pochettino turned Dele and Eriksen into genuine superstars. They were competing for the Premier League title and reached a Champions League final, but always found themselves needing a little je ne sais quoi to get them to the next level.

Kylian Mbappe and Neymar would probably help.

If PSG weren't already fun to watch, bringing Pochettino in will make them one of the must-sees in Europe, and the possibilities in the transfer market are mouth-watering.

Even if Dele and Eriksen don't find their way to the Parc des Princes, Pochettino's expansive, attacking football will go down well in Paris. He turned an above-average Spurs team into something special, but imagine what he can do with a group of players who are already elite.


For more from ​Tom Gott, follow him on ​Twitter!

facebooktwitterreddit