PSG: What can be expected from Alex Telles once he finally joins?

Alex Telles, Porto (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Alex Telles, Porto (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

With the rest of the 2019-2020 footballing campaign in stasis currently, news of the Alex Telles signing by PSG reverberates louder than it usually might at this time of the year.

The lack of other footballing activity makes this so; gigantic events and matchups would be taking place across Europe, domestically and otherwise. This is not to say that the signing of Alex Telles is only important because of the lack of news, far from it to be certain; the transfer could prove important in building a defence as formidable as the current offence at the Parc des Prince is.

The fullback, previously of Porto in Portugal, can play across the backline of defence and has the ability to secure his opposition in most circumstances. This has to be seen as a welcome innovation from inside Paris, where the offence has not always been matched by stellar defensive performances.

What is the larger picture when appraising what Thomas Tuchel is building for PSG? If it involves retaining the brightest young player in the world, Kylian Mbappe, then defensive innovations are as important as their offensive counterparts.

Keeping Kylian Mbappe, while losing Neymar Jr: A balancing act, featuring defensive innovations

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In Paris, the desire to keep Kylian Mbappe in France is likely as high as the desire to stop hearing transfer rumours about Neymar Jr; while the two of becoming quite close as friends since they came to PSG, it seems unlikely that both will remain in Paris for the duration of their careers.

The bigger question becomes simple; who would you care to retain more? That too, is an easy question to answer of course, Kylian Mbappe wins every time. Meanwhile, Neymar Jr. sits in apparent vacillation between his new friend Mbappe, and his long time soulmate Lionel Messi; what can a manager like Thomas Tuchel do in the midst of these conflicting issues?

If the main goal is to retain Mbappe, then a team must be built around him in order to entice him into staying in his home nation. If Neymar is destined to leave back to Spain, then PSG must be a strong unit from top to bottom; enter Alex Telles.

A strong backline can create easier matches, even when you have a dominant offense like Paris-Saint Germain. While Neymar will be sold eventually to either Barcelona or Real Madrid, having a complete and dangerous unit outside of the Brazilian winger creates perhaps an even greater incentive to remain at the club than simply that superstar alone.

Alex Telles and a strong backline: PSG look to solidify around their biggest star

Alex Telles at left-back creates a remarkable group of younger defensive players for PSG, although Telles is 27-years-old; Presnel Kimpembe, Colin Dagba, Abdou Diallo, Mitchel Bakker and Tanguy Kouassi are among the more fascinating, and still younger teammates Telles is joining. His success amongst those names will be crucial for PSG moving forward.

Those names will be responsible for taking responsibility away from names like Marquinhos, Thomas Meunier and Thiago Silva in time; that time could perhaps be sooner than later as well.

While those latter names are not defunct in Paris, their times are coming to a close with PSG to be sure. While they’ve provided leadership at Paris over the year, packed with changing managers and strategies, to win across Europe while retaining Kylian Mbappe, the team knows it must get younger around him.

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When Neymar is finally moved out of France, the move should be accompanied by a younger name; a Lautaro Martinez, Antoine Greizmann or Ousmane Dembele come to mind immediately. Innovations in this nature are along the same line as transferring for Alex Telles; shuffling the old out, replacing it with new so as to maintain the appearance of the widest window for PSG and Kylian Mbappe to achieve greatness within.