What’s next for PSG after early Champions League exit? Questions surround Neymar, Buffon and Tuchel

You might have heard this story before: Paris Saint-Germain fell short of expectations in the Champions League. PSG lost to Manchester United in the Round of 16 on Wednesday in agonizing fashion as Marcus Rashford scored penalty kick in stoppage time after a controversial VAR decision. Yes, PSG was missing Neymar, who has been out with a foot injury, but it was the third consecutive year the team was knocked out before the quarterfinals and the team must reevaluate on how to win games at the highest level.

So where does PSG go from here? And what will the team look like by the time it plays its next Champions League game in the fall? Here are where things stand with some of the club’s most important pieces: 

Neymar

Prior to the loss, the rumors were already swirling linking Neymar to Real Madrid. That talk is only going to escalate until the summer transfer window opens. PSG bought Neymar for a record fee in August 2017. He has scored 32 goals in 33 Ligue 1 appearances for the club, but this team’s lack of success in big tournament may mean a drastic change in Paris.

Tuchel on the hot seat?

No team in Champions League history had ever advanced after in a knockout tie after losing 2-0 at home. That was until Wednesday, and the colossal collapse could put Thomas Tuchel’s job in jeopardy. Tuchel, who was hired by the club last May, currently has the best win percentage in PSG history, but that may not matter. When Unai Emery and PSG parted ways, he had the best win percentage in club history. This team is winning games at a pace it never has, but is still falling short at the high expectations it now has.

PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi told reporters that Tuchel still had his “trust” following the shocking loss to United.

“I trust Thomas. This is not the time for decisions. Decisions require a cool head. We trust him,” Al-Khelaifi said. “We need to calm down right now and see what the coach wants – that is very important. We are very disappointed with the result and performance. I do not understand.

Was this Buffon’s last UCL chance?

Despite being 41 years old, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is playing some of the best soccer of his life. His 0.5 goals allowed per 90 minutes in league play this season is the second-best mark of his 21-year-old career. His contract is up after the season and PSG will have a big choice if it wants to move on to another option, whether it be in-house with Alphonse Areola or through the transfer market.

Categories: National Sports

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