Setting up an attack without Mbappé, the first challenge for Luis Enrique at PSG

Filling the void left in the line of attack by Kylian Mbappé represents a major first challenge for the new Spanish coach of Paris SG, Luis Enrique, whose team faces Cerezo Osaka on Friday (10:20 GMT) in a friendly match in Japan.

The goalless draw against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr, on Tuesday in Osaka, testifies to the offensive shortcomings of the Parisian team in these early stages of the preseason.

At the moment it is not possible to know what is going through the mind of the former Spanish coach about the punishment of Mbappé, since the club keeps him away from the journalists present in Japan to avoid any possible new controversy, whatever he says, about a This is a sensitive issue in itself.

‘THE TEAM MISSES HIM’

After PSG placed its star striker on the transfer list, the Saudi club Al-Hilal, Al-Nassr’s great rival, would have made an offer of 300 million euros (332 million dollars) to the French club, an offer option rejected by Mbappé.

Several European clubs have also approached PSG, such as Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, FC Barcelona or Tottenham, some of which are willing to offer players from their squads to make the operation cheaper.

But ‘Kiky’ has always preferred the white club, and does not have to accept a transfer this summer (boreal). In that case, will PSG keep one of the best players in the world apart from the group from September 1, with the end of the ‘mercato’?

“Of course the team misses him,” says former club striker Patrick Mboma, who also played in Japan, and was present at the PSG Academy at the J-Green complex in Osaka.

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The former Cameroon striker, close to Wilfried, father of Kylian Mbappé, hopes “that a way out will be found quickly because he is a player we want to see.”

‘ASSIMILATE THE SYSTEM’

Like Luis Enrique, the Japanese public, present with not a few elastics with the name of Mbappé on their back, is deprived in this tour of the top scorer in history in World Cup finals (4 goals).

Against Al-Nassr, they also waited in vain for Neymar, whom Luis Enrique chose to preserve. So youngsters like Ilyes Housni and Ismaël Gharbi played up front, promising but still inexperienced, Marco Asensio, not entirely comfortable in that position, or Carlos Soler who disappointed.

Only the young Noha Lemina raised hopes at Nagai Stadium.

“It’s the first game of the preparation period,” Mboma relativizes. As for Asensio, “we know that this is not his role, I have seen how Luis Enrique uses him in training for the possession game.”

“There is a new coach, new players, it takes time to assimilate his system,” explains the Portuguese midfielder Danilo about his shyness in attacking against Cristiano Ronaldo’s team.

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