Although the Ballon d’Or contender is experiencing a rare dry period, his team has solutions to help him recover his rhythm.
The performance Kylian Mbappe put on against Rennes was one of his best of the year. Throughout the game, Mbappe manipulated the defense by swerving between defenders at will and bursting into the lanes where he excels. It was almost perfect—until he approached the goal.
Eight shots were made that night by Mbappe. Two almost missed the mark. Steven Mandanda’s palms were pricked by three. A second was shot over from a close distance. The other people stayed far away. Mbappe failed to score for Paris Saint-Germain for the fourth game in a row.
It is important to remember that we are not in a crisis. The fact that such a drought, if you can call it that, has raised some concern is more a testament to Mbappe’s unwavering dependability than a significant issue. This is the longest goalless streak he has had for PSG in the previous five years. Almost no one else seems to notice when a team goes four games without scoring.
The problem is actually much more minor. In fact, this player is a little out of step with his team and lacks the distinctive cutting edge that has helped him win five straight Ligue 1 Golden Boots and become PSG’s all-time leading scorer at the age of 24.
However, it doesn’t necessarily follow that Luis Enrique is problem-free. PSG are not the same team without Mbappe, as they demonstrated in their first two matches of the season, both of which ended in draws. The task then turns into a practice in tactical modification. How can PSG maximize Mbappe’s potential? To make this all work once more, who needs to manipulate the system around him, and in what way? The best solutions available to Parisians are examined by GOAL.
Mbappe’s modest decline may simply be a result of the squad’s peculiar composition. The Parisians let just two attacking players go last summer, but then signed four of starting caliber. It didn’t make much sense, especially given that their boss is a devoted supporter of the front three.
Nevertheless, there was reason to think a four-forward system may succeed. In a 4-0 victory over Marseille, Luis Enrique used this formation, with Bradley Barcola playing on the left, Mbappe and Randal Kolo Muani in the center, and Ousmane Dembele on the right. The outcome was a convincing victory, even though Mbappe walked off with an ankle injury.
After then, the management continued to use the system, although with limited success. PSG had 21 shots but few clear-cut chances in their frustrating 0-0 stalemate with Clermont Foot.
Then Newcastle arrived. Four attackers and two slender midfielders with a combined total of 10 Champions League starts made up Luis Enrique’s team as they traveled to St. James’ Park in what can only be described as a tactical disaster. PSG was destroyed 4-1, which was maybe predictable. As a result, qualifying for the knockout stage became slightly more difficult.
Notably, none of the three games featured Mbappe scoring. Mbappe once again failed to score despite PSG switching back to a 4-3-3 and easily defeating Rennes in the process.”