Hakimi and Mendes, two teams in the wind at Paris Saint-Germain

Ahead of Saint-Étienne’s (9:00pm) Ligue 1 welcome on Saturday, fans’ hearts vacillate between the left and right track, as two full-backs race to decide which would be the best.

On the other hand, Nuno Mendes was one of the most prominent players of the Parisians in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League, which beat Real Madrid (1-0) on February 15. His impressive performance, on the left wing where his pace was added to that of Kylian Mbappé, impressed the Parc des Princes, not used to seeing backflow so often in recent years. On the right, Hachraf Hakimi appears as one of the darlings of the audience, who appreciates his acceleration as much as his complicity with “Kyky” off the field, shown on social networks.

Hakimi Mbappe, Friends “Since Day One”

With the 19-year-old Portuguese, from Sporting Lisbon, and the 23-year-old Moroccan, appointed from Inter Milan, PSG had a huge success this summer during the transfer window.
Finding good full-backs, after the rather notable failures of Alessandro Florenzi, Mitchell Packer, Levin Kurzawa, Colin Dagba or Thelo Kehrer was a priority for the Paris leaders. They have spent close to 60 million euros for Hakimi, and want to exercise the option to buy 40 million euros for Mendes, who has arrived on loan, to turn a weakness into a strength.

The Moroccan-Portuguese tandem is working so well that it appears to be one of the engines likely to lead Paris Saint-Germain to the C1 final, which dreams of a first title.
Without them, Paris could suffer, as was the case in Nantes on Saturday (loss 3-1), where the two players started as substitutes.

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Among the players, Hakimi has the strongest credentials. He trained at Real Madrid and played 16 matches in the Champions League before joining Paris Saint-Germain.
With his powerful style, he easily integrated into the Parisian playing system and focused on attacking. “I feel at home in Paris,” the defender admitted in an interview with the Spanish sports daily Marca, published on February 14. “The best right-back in the world,” Mbappe said on Twitter in January after a CAN match that saw the Moroccan score a free kick.

“I dealt with him very well, from day one. Age plays a role because we agree on a lot of things to see and do. The former Dortmund and Inter player has three goals in the Ligue 1 (plus three assists), but he hasn’t Score since the end of September Nuno Mendes, still waiting for his counter to open.

Mendes wants to “grow up”

He didn’t need to hit the net to get any tighter than the eleven. “In my head I feel young, I’m only 19 and I want to grow as much as possible,” he told PSG in mid-January. ‘Mental maturity’, ‘physical strength’ and playing ‘without showing fatigue’: PSG coach sees in Nuno Mendes ‘enormous room for improvement and potential’ and a player ‘we see only part of what he ‘could do’. The one who presented himself as ‘ Shy” on arrival he feels “closer, every day that goes by” than his teammates.

The two players managed to stand out, but their role could change in the coming weeks depending on coach Mauricio Pochettino’s tactical choices. In fact, before coming to Paris, Hakimi developed as Mendes as “Presses” within a three-man defense, a role that fits perfectly with their offensive profile. Pucket admitted that this option is on the table, but the Argentine technician currently prefers to develop it with four behind him. In the coming weeks, each of his decisions will be scrutinized, in light of the looming C1. But the name of the two teams that will start will not be up for debate.

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About the Author: Lucinda Lima

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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