Is Tuchel finally the man to complete Nasser Al-Khelaifi’s PSG project and win the Champions League trophy?

The current generation of football fans in France are certainly a selection of supporters who are becoming accustomed to witnessing the dominance of PSG in Ligue 1. Over the last six years, the Parisian side has impressively claimed the division five times, as President Nasser Al-Khelaifi’s wealthy influence on the club continues to polarise themselves from others in the country.

Ever since the Qatari’s appointment, PSG have possessed a real pulling power when it comes to attracting star stellar names to the club, having recruited the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria and of course, the most expensive player of all time, Neymar, down the years.

The recruitment of such players has subsequently been rewarded with numerous league titles, but the club still desire their first ever Champions League trophy, having failed to reach the semi-finals of the competition in the 21st century. During the hunt for the illustrious prize, PSG have swiftly gone through three managers in the last seven years, before now turning to a wildcard option in Thomas Tuchel.

An attacking choice

The German manager has drawn praise from pundits and fans all around Europe, for his dynamic and attacking system that was successfully implanted during his two year spell at Borussia Dortmund. Tuchels’s stint with The Black and Yellows can certainly be regarded as a successful one, in which he recorded a win percentage of 62.96%, alongside a DFB-Pokal during his last season in charge.

During his two years at the club, Tuchel deployed a free flowing philosophy towards his players, playing emphasis on his attackers to run in behind the opposition’s defence, a policy that got the best out of their goal machine, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. This sort of attacking mentality will undoubtedly be welcomed at PSG, where Tuchel will have to strike an efficient and dynamic balance between the likes of Neymar, Di Maria and Cavani.

A break from the past?

The German’s reign at the Westfalenstadion was however not short of any controversy, in which he notoriously held a toxic relationship with the club’s CEO, Hans-Joachim Watzke, in which the two disagreed heavily over transfer plans. Dortmund are of course a side who down the years are of no strangers to departing with some of their best players and the losses of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mats Hummels reportedly upset Tuchel.

It will therefore be intriguing to see how both Tuchel and Al-Khelaifi cooperate their business together, as the German may now fully be backed by a Chairman who shares a similar and optimistic vision of the club. In credit to Tuchel, not many managers would have been able to cope with the stature of departures that he experienced at Dortmund and the German will have inevitably been promised a different sort of backing, for his time in France.

The penultimate judgement

As mentioned, the polarisation between PSG and the rest of the clubs in the division is apparent to all, with no other side possessing the financial power to rival the reigning champions. However, despite the impressive domestic success, PSG’s disappointing performances on the European stage have however clouded their praise from many outside of France.

Ultimately, Al-Khelaifi’s PSG project will not thoroughly be completed until they get their hands on that highly desired Champions League medal, as despite holding all their offensive firepower, no manager has managed to strike that required balance between defence and attack, needed to win the competition. Despite Tuchel being a wildcard option, due to his limited experience in the game, the German’s appointment does however establish a rather exciting time ahead for the French side, who will welcome his attacking mindset.

Josh Gmerek-Iftakhar, online freelance sports journalist based in Manchester