Football Manager 2018: Paris Saint-Germain Guide, Player Ratings & Tactics

Fronted by the most expensive player of all-time Neymar, how far can you take this uber talented PSG side on FM 18?

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

Despite not lifting the Ligue 1 trophy for the first time in five years, Paris Saint-Germain are perhaps better for it. Losing out last season caused the owners to dig deep into their pockets, spending a massive £365 million if you include Kylian Mbappe’s deal which will go through at the end of the season.

With all that spent, PSG are not only the overwhelming favourites to win back their French crown, but the belief is now that they can fight for Champions League glory. The Parisians have already seen off Bayern Munich in the group stage, but can you take them the whole way in Football Manager 2018?

Philosophies

PSG Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi will welcome you to the club as soon as you start up your game, and present you the philosophies of the club. At Paris Saint-Germain all you need to do is sign high profile players, perhaps the easiest set of philosophies to abide by on FM 18.

Expectations

Shortly after this Al-Khelaifi will discuss with you the expectations for the season. The default is to win both the Ligue 1 title and French Cup, which is unnegotiable. You will have the option to choose how far you think you will get in the Champions Cup (Champions League), but you are best off sticking with the quarter-finals in your first season.

The Coupe de la Ligue and Trophee des Champions are marked as not important.

Budget

Transfer: £40 million

Wage: £3.6 million per week (Current spend: £3.3 million)

Formation

PSG tend to go for a 4-3-3 system, but we are going to go a little braver with a 4-2-3-1 wide. This allows you to get as many of your best players on the pitch at the same time, but if you want a little more protection, go for a 4-1-2-3 DM wide.

Alphonse Areola beats off competition from Kevin Trapp in goal, and his back four consists of new signing Dani Alves, Marquinhos, captain Thiago Silva and Layvin Kurzawa.

The central midfield pairing is comprised of all-rounders Marco Verratti and Adrien Rabiot. Javier Pastore is in the number 10 role, with Angel di Maria and £196 million man Neymar providing the width. Edinson Cavani leads the line.

On the bench you will want Kevin Trapp, Presnel Kimpembe, Thomas Meunier, Thiago Motta, Julian Draxler, Lucas Moura and Kylian Mbappe. 

Key Players

With so much talent, identifying just three key players is a tough task in this PSG side. With so many players yet to hit their peak as well, this team could grow into one of the best we’ve seen on the European stage.

Neymar – CA 5 star (190), PA 5 star (197)

Neymar made the almost £200 million move to Paris in the summer from Barcelona, more than doubling the previous transfer record held by Paul Pogba. The Brazilian superstar made the switch to France as he wanted to be the main man at the club and step out of Lionel Messi’s shadow. It has proved a masterstroke so far, with the 25-year-old already netting 15 goals in his first 18 games for his new club. 

Neymar’s outstanding 190 CA consists of 20 dribbling, 20 technique and 19 movement with his potential an unbelievable 197. 

Edinson Cavani – CA 4 star (164), PA 4 star (174)

Despite signing Neymar, Edinson Cavani is still PSG’s main source of goals. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaving the club at the start of last season, this allowed Cavani to show his true worth, scoring 49 goals in 50 games, and he has 23 in just 21 games this season.

He may now be 30, but don’t be surprised if his 164 current ability still creeps towards his 174 potential. The Uruguayan’s best attributes are his 18 stamina, 18 heading and 18 work rate.

Thiago Silva – CA 4 star (163), PA 4 star (174)

With all that attacking talent, PSG need to make sure they don’t get caught up the other end, and the experienced Thiago Silva is on hand to thwart any attack. The captain is amongst the best defender’s in the world, and he and countryman Marquinhos (CA 158) have formed a solid partnership at the back for Les Rouges-et-Bleu. 

The 32-year-old brings a CA score of 163, which could still flirt back towards his 174 potential. The centre back offers you 17 marking, 17 determination and 17 concentration.

Young Talent

Something PSG have turned to in recent years to looking to improve their youth setup. Adrien Rabiot, Alphonse Areola and Presnel Kimpembe have showed that the club doesn’t need to continue to spend cash, so who is part of the next wave of youngsters coming through?

Claudio Gomes – CA 1.5 star (92), PA 3.5-4.5 star (150-180)

Defensive midfielder Claudio Gomes is the current captain of the France U18 side. The 17-year-old is yet to make his debut for the PSG first team, but with limited options in defensive midfield, a strong turn out for the youth sides this season could propel him into the picture.

His 92 current ability rating can rise to a superb potential between 150 and 180. Gomes has attributes of 14 agility, 14 balance and 13 pace making him a fantastic sweeper behind the midfield.

Yacine Adli – CA 1.5 star (94), PA 3-4 star (140-170)

Recently linked with a move to Barcelona, it is crucial PSG keep hold of Yacine Adli. The central or attacking midfielder has already scored six goals for France U17s, and the board will need to manage him carefully, as he looks desperate to kick-on with his career.

The 17-year-old may only have a 94 CA but his could rise to a potential as high as 170, with his best stats currently 14 balance, 14 technique and 13 dribbling.

Moussa Diaby – CA 1.5 star (102), PA 3-4 star (130-160)

Looking to be PSG’s next Neymar is Moussa Diaby. The 18-year-old may have to wait a while for minutes at the Parc des Princes with so much talent in wide areas at the moment, but expect him to be there or thereabouts in a couple of years’ time. 

The left winger has a decent 102 current ability score, rising to a potential between 130 and 160. He has attributes of 12 first touch, 12 technique and 10 consistency on FM 18.

Team Report


Strengths Weaknesses
Decisions Goalkeeper Depth
Teamwork Centre Back Depth
First Touch Wage Budget
Passing Strength
Coaching Staff Overall Depth
Right Back Depth
Star Defenders   (Daniel Alves + Thiago Silva)
Left Wing Depth
Star Midfielder   (Neymar)
Transfer Budget
Aggression

Dynamics

Team Leaders – Thiago Silva (C), Thiago Motta (vice-captain), Edinson Cavani

Highly influential – Daniel Alves, Angel di Maria, Neymar, Lucas Moura, Marco Verratti, Alphonse Areola, Marquinhos, Javier Pastore, Adrien Rabiot

Dynamics are the main new feature for Football Manager and they illustrate the atmosphere inside the dressing room. Be sure that there are no unhappy players in the squad, and this is even more important for the more influential players in the side. Saying the wrong thing to the wrong player can cause the dressing room to turn against you, and the performances on the pitch will fall as a result. 

Transfer Targets

It is a fantastic squad at PSG, but you do feel there are a couple of holes in the side. You needed to identify which is the most important to rectify, with only three centre halves in your squad, one conventional holding midfielder and one conventional striker. With so much spent already, you will need to sell off some talent to bring in new recruits.

Central/Defensive midfielder – Jorginho (CA 152, PA 157)

Thiago Motta is the only defensive midfielder in the squad, and at the age of 34 this needs to be rectified. Yes, you have players like Marco Verratti and Adrien Rabiot who can fill in there, but the void of Blaise Matuidi has not been filled.

Napoli’s Jorginho looks to be the solution, with the 25-year-old able to play in both central and defensive midfield. The Italian may have earned just three caps, but that is sure to change as the Azzurri build towards the next World Cup with a more youthful squad. 

On FM 18, Jorginho will offer you a 152 current ability rating, which can rise to a solid potential of 157. This would make him a great player to rotate between starting and on the bench, but you will still need to fork out £40 million for him with wages upwards of £51,000 a week.

Alternative Options:

  • Sami Khedira – Age 30, Juventus, Germany, CA 165, PA 167, Value: £32m, Wage: £125k
  • Radja Nainggolan – Age 29, Roma, Belgium, CA 170, PA 170, Value: £34m, Wage: £100k
  • Blaise Matuidi – Age 30, Juventus, France, CA 156, PA 158, Value: £25m, Wage: £110k
  • Ander Herrera – Age 27, Man United, Spain, CA 152, PA 160, Value: £33m, Wage: £115k

Players to sell

You could easily not sell anyone for PSG, but the squad is heavily one sided to the attacking players, especially wingers. If you want to balance out the squad you will need to sell a couple of these players. 

Lucas Moura

It looks likely that Brazil international Lucas Moura will leave the club at the end of the season, as you can’t see him getting past Neymar, Angel di Maria, Julian Draxler and Kylian Mbappe. His 151 CA and 156 PA may look promising, but it is wasted if he is spending most of his time on the bench. Look to sell the right winger for close to £30 million and you will save £62,000 a week in wages.  

Hatem Ben Arfa

It’s a similar story for Hatem Ben Arfa, however the Frenchman can fill in as a striker which could persuade you to keep him. The former Newcastle man almost moved to Barcelona in 2016, but all of these signings at PSG have starved him of game time. You will only get £4 million for the right winger or attacking midfielder, but you will free up a massive £170,000 a week in wages. 

Finances

You’d expect the finances at PSG to be in good health, and you’ll be pleased to here that the bank balance is on the up for the French giants. Turnover is set to decrease slightly, expenditure will increase and profit will turn to loss, and that is perhaps a result of the ridiculous spending catching up with them. Expect to have the best part of £200 million in your transfer budget next summer however, but whether the £165 million for Kylian Mbappe comes out of this remains to be seen.

Achieve the ultimate goal

Winning back the Ligue 1 title is the minimum aim for PSG this season. With such a talented squad, the French Cup should take care of itself but the big challenge comes in Europe. Are you likely to win it in your first season? Probably not, the squad is thin in some areas, but there is no reason you can’t lift the ‘Champions Cup’ trophy in your second season. One thing’s for sure, you will have plenty of fun with this rich and exiting Paris Saint-Germain side. 

Paris Saint-Germain first team squad, player roles and ratings

Player
Age
Pos
Role        
Duty
Role Ability
CA/
PA
Starting Lineup
Alphonse Areola 24 GK Goalkeeper Defend 3 star 145/
154
Daniel Alves 32 DR Full-Back Attack 4 star 164/
174
Marquinhos 23 DCR Ball Playing Defender Stopper 4 star 158/
175
Thiago Silva 32 DCL Ball Playing Defender Stopper 4 star 163/
174
Layvin Kurzawa 24 DL Full-Back Attack 3 star 143/
147
Marco Verratti 24 MCR Advanced Playmaker Support 4 star 163/
171
Adrien Rabiot 22 MCL Deep Lying Playmaker Defend 3 star 147/
165
Angel di Maria 29 AMR Inside Forward Support 4 star 161/
174
Javier Pastore 28 AMC Advanced Playmaker Support 3 star 151/
159
Neymar 25 AML Inside Forward Support 5 star 190/
197
Edinson Cavani 30 STC Advanced Forward Attack 4 star 164/
174
Substitutes
Kevin Trapp 26 GK Goalkeeper Defend 2.5 star 143/
149
Presnel Kimpembe 21 D (C) Ball Playing Defender Stopper 3 star 141/
164
Thomas Meunier 25 D (R)
WB (R)
M (RC)
AM (R)
Wing-Back Defend 3 star 145/
147
Thiago Motta 34 DM Anchor Man Defend 3 star 147/
163
Julian Draxler 23 M (RL)
AM (RLC)
Inside Forward Any 3 star 153/
169
Lucas Moura 24 AM (R) Winger Support 3 star 151/
156
Kylian Mbappe 18 AM (RL)
ST (C)
Winger Attack 3 star 147/
>170
Reserves
Alec Georgen 18 D (R) Full-Back Attack 1.5 star 104/
>130
Yuri 27 D (L)
WB (L)
Full-Back Attack 2.5 star 142/
144
Christopher Nkunku 19 DM
M (C)
Advanced Playmaker Attack 2 star 121/
>130
Giovani Lo Celso 21 M (LC)
AM (C)
Advanced Playmaker Support 2.5 star 131/
>150
Hatem Ben Arfa 30 AM (RC)
ST
Inside Forward Support 2.5 star 134/
164

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Alastair Pusinelli

First console: GameBoy Color / Favourite Game: Assassin's Creed 2 / Currently playing: Football Manager 2020

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