Long removed from the field, the Argentine international striker remains on two convincing performances.
Mauro Icardi, the return. Return to the game, return to form and return to the race for a place in the starting XI. But first, take a step back. Boiling upon his arrival in Paris, in the summer of 2019, on loan from Inter, the 27-year-old Argentinian international striker (8 sel., 1 goal) gradually lost the “mojo” during his first exercise in Red and Blue. To the point of seeing Edinson Cavani go back to him in the hierarchy before the cut related to Covid-19. The departure of the Uruguayan, free, did not even help his affairs, he who wandered like a lost soul during the finals of the Coupe de France and the League and on the occasion of the quarter of the Champions League against the ‘Atalanta (2-1). He had not taken off from the bench in the semi and final of C1, this time doubled by… Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. Never mind, Leonardo transformed his loan into a final transfer during the transfer window, for € 50 million excluding bonus. A penny for an attacker of this caliber, a sacred sum in times of health and economic crisis. And the biggest investment of PSG in this transfer window.
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Mauro Icardi is 4 goals this seasonPanoramic
New season, new start? Not really… First affected by the Covid-19, like many of his little comrades, Icardi only had the leisure to play four matches – a double against Reims (2-0 victory) – before getting injured. Hit to the ligament of a knee in training, it initially did not cause concern for the now ex-Parisian coach Thomas Tuchel. But the days passed, soon the weeks, and still no Icardi in the group, let alone in the field. All while Moise Kean, arrived on tiptoe, began to find a place in the sun. Almost two months after his last match, he finally had the opportunity to frolic in the middle of his teammates against Bordeaux (2-2), on November 28. Five minutes. Time … to get hurt again. The adductors this time.
Return with fanfare against Brest, confirmation against OM
He will not play again under the orders of Thomas Tuchel, who only moderately appreciated his profile. “Mr. Wanda Icardi” then had to wait for the 65th minute of the second PSG match in 2021, the second of the Pochettino era, to replay. It was against Brest on January 9. 1-0 when it came into play. And the talent spoke. Inspired, bleeding in his calls and intelligent in his movements, the former Inter Milan goal machine found the net 16 minutes after his entry, on an offering from Kylian Mbappé. Two minutes later, it was he who feasted and offered the 3-0 goal to Pablo Sarabia with a tasty heel. Already enough to revive the debate among the center-forward, while Kean is now at nine goals and 13 L1 matches? “Slowly ! We must go step by step, tempered Mauricio Pochettino. He’s coming back from injury, he only found the group a few days ago. Scoring is good for his confidence, like Pablo. I expect the players to put me in difficulty when making my choices. ”
“A master in the surface”
Message received. Holder against OM on Wednesday, in Lens, for the Champions Trophy, Icardi had a match worthy of his start to the 2019-20 season, all in efficiency, timing, intelligence. Author of the opener, he also caused a penalty. The native of Rosario will have above all represented a permanent danger for the Marseille defenders. Poison. “A master in the area,” said André Villas-Boas, more lucid to judge the performance of the Argentinian than his team. “I’m happy to have more players, we are getting them back little by little,” said Pochettino. I’m very happy with what he (Icardi) did, as I’m happy with Moise. They have different characteristics. ” Icardi, an old-fashioned goal hunter, cold, while his young (20 years) Italian competitor is more in the impact.
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Before Marseille, Icardi’s last tenure dated back to October 2AFP
In summary, Pochettino has a rich problem at the center-forward position. And not just there, since the infirmary is emptying. Only Juan Bernat (knee) and Alexandre Letellier (elbow) are currently injured. Positive for Covid-19, Rafinha, Thilo Kehrer and Colin Dagba will be absent from Angers this Saturday (9 p.m.), during the 20th day of Ligue 1. Like… Mauricio Pochettino, also positive. “They are two very talented players,” said the former Tottenham coach on Friday. They are neither the same age nor the same experience. ” A clue ?
Who to debut on February 16 in Barcelona?
To see which of the two will have the leisure to start this Saturday, in Raymond-Kopa. One thing is certain: the real goal is Barcelona. And Mauricio Pochettino has plenty of time to try to clear an eleven by then. “Having two players like that, for the competition, is very good,” he continues. With the many matches to be played, we will be able to analyze and judge the state of form, when one or the other will be the most suitable. ” And to add: “We are very happy to find Mauro after a long absence. It’s important that players are available when called upon and that they work to be ready to play at all times. But I’m very happy with both. ” Charge to Icardi and Kean to continue to make the happiness of their Argentine coach by scoring goals, and therefore points.