Football Manager 2020: Paris Saint-Germain Team Guide – Tactics, formations, transfer targets & more
PSG have dominated France, but need a fresh face at the helm to get them to the top of Europe.
Paris Saint-Germain have always been a big club, but their financial takeover in 2012 catapulted the capital club into the stratosphere.
Aside from a stunning Monaco victory in the 2016-17 season, PSG have won every Ligue 1 title since 2013 and are champions-elect this season as well.
Despite being almost unchallenged domestically, European success has evaded Les Parisiens in their current era. Hundreds of millions have been spent in pursuit of the UEFA Champions League but nothing has come to fruition from the continental tree yet.
You can be the manager to change that though! With a huge transfer budget and some of the most talented players in the world at your disposal, it’s only a matter of time before PSG lay their hands on the biggest club prize of them all.
This new feature has been a big success in FM20. It is both a short-term and long-term set of goals for the club under your direction, as laid out by the board.
It includes play style aims, financial targets, and competition results, with increasing expectations over each year of your tenure.
READ MORE: FM20: Chelsea Team Guide
PSG have high aims which isn’t a surprise but some of the expectations both in and outside of the competitions are extremely ambitious.
Your style of play only needs to be attacking, the board don’t have a preference on fluidity nor directness.
For the competitions, the board are aiming to maintain the Ligue 1 title, as you’d expect. The two domestic cups, the French Cup and the Trophee des champions aren’t regarded as important.
If any of the aims are going to trip you up, it’s the Champions League, as you’re expected to make the semi-finals. This is a huge challenge, especially for your first season. When you consider the quality of sides like Manchester City, Barcelona, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Juventus, it’s no mean feat and will test your managerial skills to their limits.
READ MORE: FM20 Real Madrid Guide
When it comes to your signings, there’s no preference on nationality, they only need to be high-profile. That won’t be an issue given the funds at your disposal and the reputation that the club already has.
Speaking of reputation, this is where things get a little ridiculous. The board require you to maintain the club as the highest reputation in France, which isn’t an issue but they also want you to become the most reputable in Europe and the World.
Aside from winning the Champions League, you won’t achieve this and even then, it’s a stretch. It isn’t something you’ll be sacked over though, winning Ligue 1 and a respectable finish in the CL will allow you to see out your contract.
Tactical style & formation
PSG possess a big advantage over most Ligue 1 teams in terms of their quality and a significant superiority over most of the other top sides in the league. You can, therefore, afford to be adventurous with your tactical approach and opt for the Wing play for most games.
The Gengenpress and the fluid counter-attack are also recommended approaches, but wing play utilises the side’s pace and wingers more.
For the formation, you’ve got plenty of options but a 3-5-2 variant is best, with 4-2-2-2 and 3-4-2-1 also being more conservative options.
Your starting 11 should be Keylor Navas in goal, with a back three of Presnel Kimpembe, Thiago Silva and Marquinhos.
Idrissa Gueye and Marco Veratti are your two central midfielders with Pablo Sarabia as the sole attacking midfielder. Angel di Maria and Neymar are your wingers who will provide service to your striking pair of Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe.
Your seven on the bench should be Sergio Rico, Thilo Kehrer, Abdou Diallo, Ander Herrera, Julian Draxler, Thomas Meunier and Mauro Icardi.
PSG have some of the best players in the world on their books, particularly in the attacking department.
The money that the club has spent over the years has assembled a squad that is almost a league above any of their Ligue 1 competitors.
Here are the five highest players in the PSG team according to their starting FM20 CA values:
|Neymar||M (L), AM (LC), ST||27||185/190||20 technique, 20 dribbling, 19 off the ball|
|Kylian Mbappe||AM (RLC), ST||20||181/196||20 acceleration, 20 pace, 18 off the ball|
|Marquinhos||D (C), DM (C)||25||165/171||18 teamwork, 17 tackling, 17 determination|
|Edinson Cavani||ST||32||164/174||18 stamina, 18 heading, 18 work rate|
|Keylor Navas||GK||32||163/167||19 reflexes, 18 concentration, 17 natural fitness|
Kylian Mbappe and Neymar are in a class of their own in this PSG squad, both being over 180 in CA and having potential abilities (PA) of over 190. In fact, Mbappe’s PA of 196 will make him very close to the perfect player within a few years.
The talent is definitely concentrated towards the forward areas, with three of these five able to play as a striker. There’s also a concern about the age of the players, as Cavani and Navas are both into their thirties.
Worry not though, as there are some brilliant young players already in the side when you join:
PSG are trying to change their ways by buying very young talent, not just the players that can slot into the first team immediately. Here are the three highest players in terms of PA and under the age of 21 in the squad:
Kylian Mbappe – CA 4.5 star (181), PA 5 star (196)
Kylian Mbappe is quite simply the most exciting young talent on the planet right now. Paris Saint-Germain paid a whopping £165 million on the then-18-year-old after initially loaning the winger from Monaco, the second-highest transfer fee ever at the time.
READ MORE: FM20: Arsenal team guide
Since moving to PSG, Mbappe has scored 48 goals in 47 appearances, won six trophies with Les Parisiens and was instrumental in France’s 2018 World Cup victory, winning best Young player thanks to his four goals. With 20 pace and acceleration, too, he’s also the fastest player on FM20!
Mbappe should be a first-team regular in your side from the outset and as long as you maintain the reputation of PSG, he will be wanting to stay in Paris for his entire career.
Thimothee Pembele – CA 1.5 star (95), PA 4.5 star (140-170)
Despite being just a 16-year-old, Thomthee Pembele is already in the PSG under-19 side. Thiago Silva will be a very tough player to replace but Pembele could be the one to do it, thanks to his PA of up to 170!
Pembele already has some great attributes for a central defender at the start of FM20. 13 heading, 13 marking, 13 tackling and of course his 20 determination are all very promising for a future first team player.
Adil Aouchiche – CA 1.5 star (96), PA 4.5 star (140-170)
Adil Aouchiche is another 16-year-old that has made it into the under-19s despite his young age. The central midfielder has also already made his first-team debut, featuring three times this season and even scoring his first professional goal.
READ MORE: FM20: All the best contract expiry signings
14 agility, 14 technique, 13 first touch and 12 dribbling are all attributes that are key to playmakers but will improve as the Frenchman matures and develops.
Starting transfer budget: £73.21 million
Remaining wage budget: £103,000 a week
If there’s one thing that PSG aren’t short of it, it’s money, the club is basically financed by the nation of Qatar.
That being said, spending can’t be allowed to spiral out of control, as the same FFP regulations that Manchester City recently broke could come back to haunt you.
The bank balance is set to more than double over the next three seasons from just under £200m to over £500m. Your transfer budget will also increase to nearly £500m in the same period, you won’t be caught short when trying to buy the best players on the planet.
Your overall profit is expected to fall but still be around £50m per season. Turnover and wages are meant to remain steady, with the expenditure is set to go up.
The squad doesn’t need significant investment to win Ligue 1, it’s already more than good enough. Winning the Champions League is a different kettle of fish though, serious investment is needed in the team.
The position that needs improvement more than any other though is attacking midfielder central AMC, so the focus of your scouting efforts should be on this.
Christian Eriksen has transferred to Inter Milan but if you revert to before the winter transfer update you can swoop in before the Italian side has a chance. Eriksen’s contract expires in the upcoming summer, so you can get the great Dane on a free transfer as long as he doesn’t sign a new deal with Spurs.
You have the money to spend and purchase him outright in January or the summer though. Eriksen is one of the most talented players in the game, having great stats when it comes to creating opportunities, he’d thrive in this PSG side!
If Eriksen doesn’t sound like the player you’re looking for, consider these other players instead:
|Marco Asensio||22||R. Madrid||Spain||151/165||£42.5m||£140k|
|Thomas Lemar||23||A. Madrid||France||150/168||£40m||£105k|
You’ll have a budget of over 300m for the following season, so money isn’t an issue. The other areas the team that need investment include M(C), D(C) and striker.
Bernardo Silva, Paul Pogba and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic are all great young options for you.
Another centre back wouldn’t go amiss for when Thiago Silva retires in a few year’s time. Niklas Sule, Jose Gimenez and Samuel Umtiti are all solid options for this position.
Finally, a striker in place of Cavani, as he will start to decline in CA soon. You should be looking at players like Gabriel Jesus and Tammy Abraham but Mauro Icardi himself would be a great option if you can turn his deal into a permanent one from Inter.
The contract situation at PSG for the start of FM20 is surprisingly poor, with many key players out of contract in the coming seasons.
At the conclusion of your first season, Mauro Icardi’s and Sergio Rico’s loan deals expire but that’s to be expected. The two key players that can leave in summer 2020 are Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani. Although this pair are both over 30, they’re still some of the most talented players in the squad and pending performance levels, should be offered a new deal.
Kurzawa, Meunier and Choupo-Moting are also set to leave at the end of 2019-20 but whether you keep them is down to your preference as manager, you definitely have the money to improve on them going forward.
There are only three players which have deals that end in summer 2021, Julian Draxler and Angel di Maria are the highlights of this trio. Draxler should definitely get a new deal but it could be time for di Maria to move on as he’ll be 33 by this point.
Neymar, Mbappe and Maqruinhos’ also contract also expire at the end of 2021-22, you’ll need to tie these all down before their final season. Otherwise, it’ll be a difficult negotiation.
Taking the next step
Much like Juventus and Manchester City, European success has eluded PSG despite their domestic dominance.
PSG have the budget but haven’t quite had the players or cohesion to make it past the quarter-finals of the Champions League. This is the main long term aim of the board, they’ve won everything there is to win in France, Europe is the next logical step.
Most areas of the squad do need strengthening but with the £500m you’ll have at your disposal in a few years time you have the resources available to you to make one of the best teams in the world.
It won’t be easy, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Bayern, & Juve will also be challenging for Europe’s top prize. If you want to be the best though, you need to beat the best.
Full PSG player ratings
|Keylor Navas||32||GK||SK||Defend||3.5 star||163/167|
|Presnel Kimpembe||23||D (C)||BPD||Defend||2.5 star||146/148|
|Thiago Silva||34||D (C)||BPD||Stopper||3.5 star||160/169|
|Marquinhos||25||D (C), DM (C)||BPD||Cover||4 star||165/171|
|Idrissa Gueye||29||DM, M (C)||BWM||Defend||3 star||149/152|
|Marco Verratti||26||DM, M (C)||DLP||Support||3.5 star||157/162|
|Angel di Maria||31||M (LC), AM (RLC)||IW||Support||3.5 star||161/174|
|Pablo Sarabia||27||M/AM (RLC)||IW||Support||2.5 star||149/155|
|Neymar||27||M (L), AM (LC), ST||IW||Support||4.5 star||185/190|
|Kylian Mbappe||20||AM (RLC), ST||AF||Attack||4.5 star||181/196|
|Edinson Cavani||32||ST||PF||Attack||3.5 star||164/174|
|Substitutes & Reserves|
|Sergio Rico||25||GK||G||Defend||2.5 star||139/157|
|Thilo Kehrer||22||D (RC), DM, M (C)||BPD||Defend||2.5 star||139/154|
|Abdou Diallo||23||D (LC)||BPD||Defend||2.5 star||139/159|
|Ander Herrera||29||DM, M (C)||BBM||Support||3 star||150/156|
|Julian Draxler||25||M/AM (RLC)||IW||Support||2.5 star||150/156|
|Thomas Meunier||27||D/WB (R), M (RC)||FB||Support||2.5 star||141/147|
|Mauro Icardi||26||ST||PF||Attack||2.5 star||161/176|
|Leandro Parades||24||DM, M (C)||DLP||Support||2.5 star||143/152|
|Maxim Choupo-Moting||30||M/AM (L), ST||IW||Support||2 star||134/145|
|Juan Bernat||26||D/WB/M/AM (L)||CWB||Support||2.5 star||146/164|
|Layvin Kurzawa||26||D/WB (L)||CWB||Support||2.5 star||136/145|