Lionel Messi’s debut season at PSG didn’t go according to plan, to say the least. While he did help them win their 10th Ligue 1 title, doing just that is surely not enough for Messi.
Messi scored just 6 league goals this season, his lowest in a league campaign since the 2005/06 season. Leo has taken time to adapt to his new surroundings after spending two decades with Barcelona.
The Argentine star will clearly look to improve going forward. With Kylian Mbappe likely to leave, Messi will take center stage at PSG. Neymar’s injury-prone nature means he alone can’t be the ideal partner for Leo at PSG.
The club needs to back him up with enough quality to help Messi reach his utmost potential. That being said, here’s a look at three players who can help Messi reach the next level at PSG next season.
Robert Lewandowski and Messi together?
If Mbappe leaves in the summer, PSG will need to replace him with another quality forward. PSG are now ready to rival Barcelona for the signing of Robert Lewandowski (as per Fichajes), who has publicly asked to leave Bayern Munich this summer.
Lewandowski is a pure goal-scorer, having scored 50 times for Bayern this season. He can be a solid partner for Messi because he has the ability to drag defenders out of position and set up goals for teammates with smart passing. He has 7 assists this season proving his creativity.
The prospect of pairing Lewandowski with Messi can make PSG even scarier. Leo would enjoy playing with a ruthless striker like “The Body” and their matching elite mentalities should help PSG prosper. Playing alongside an experienced striker like Lewandowski could help take some pressure off Messi’s shoulders next season and allow him to enjoy a more prolific campaign.
Mo Salah and Messi united
Mohamed Salah has still not signed a new contract with Liverpool and could actually leave the Reds in the summer. According to The Telegraph, the Egyptian winger is actually “tempted” with the prospect of linking up with Leo Messi at PSG.
Having arguably two of the best left-footed players in world football could be a huge boost for the French side next season. If Salah arrives, Messi would probably shift to a more central role where he can get more chances to score and control the tempo of PSG’s games.
Along with scoring 30 goals, Salah also has 14 assists to his name this season. Not only does he score, but Mo regularly sets up chances for his teammates. This would benefit Messi, as he can get more genuine chances to score next season with a prolific forward like Salah. Knowing Mo’s goal-scoring ability, Leo could also get way more assists with a clinical finisher alongside him at PSG.
Christopher Nkunku to reduce Messi’s creative burden
Christopher Nkunku has become the talk of the town in European football after enjoying a brilliant campaign with RB Leipzig. The Frenchman scored 34 goals and registered 20 assists this past season, which has forced PSG to enter the race to sign him (as per ESPN).
Nkunku is nearing the peak of his career and is just the kind of player with whom Messi could blend well. The Frenchman is a volatile player in the attacking areas, he creates chances, provides accurate through balls, and his dribbling, set-piece ability, and finishing all are strong suits (according to WhoScored).
The 24-year-old can play basically anywhere in attack and can be the perfect support system for Messi next season. Nkunku can create chances out of nowhere and can help set up more genuine scoring opportunities for Leo & Co.
It could cost PSG up to €80m to bring back their youth academy product, but it could prove a masterstroke to unlock Messi’s ultimate potential and help Leo have a much more prolific campaign next season.