By Tim Stannard
The jury is still out for delivering a verdict on five of PSG’s big-six summer signings. And the missing one? Well, the jury hasn’t even been selected for Sergio Ramos who has yet to play a minute for PSG since his headline-grabbing free transfer from Real Madrid.
Aside from a trademark blockbuster of a strike against Manchester City, there is not really enough evidence to truly assess Lionel Messi, especially in Ligue 1 where the Argentinean has made just two starts.
Gianluigi Donnarumma is still battling with Keylor Navas to be the starting goalkeeper. Dutch midfielder, Georginio Wijnaldum, has been in and out of the team and all over the pitch under Mauricio Pochettino, grumbling that “I can't say I'm completely happy, because the situation is not what I wanted.”
The most positive signs have been for fullbacks Nuno Mendes and especially Achraf Hakimi who has three goals and two assists in Ligue 1.
The relaunch of Ramos?
But wither and whether Sergio Ramos?
The Spanish centerback began life at PSG as he ended his sixteen-season spell at Real Madrid - injured, with a calf muscle problem. However, Ramos is set to be unleashed with the World Cup winner reportedly ready for the PSG squad that plays Angers on Friday. The timing could not be better as the legendary defender’s presence is badly needed.
PSG’s had enjoyed a 100% record in Ligue 1 before the limp defeat against Rennes going into the international break. However, the team had been living dangerously, needing last-gasp winners and only keeping three clean sheets in nine Ligue 1 matches. Goals were conceded against Troyes, Brest, and Metz - three of the four teams that currently make up the bottom four in the division.
Characteristic leadership and stability from Sergio Ramos in an ever-changing rearguard would be a boost for PSG, a team that could also do with some of the dark arts of defense that the Professor Snape of soccer can offer up.
Despite his recent injury issues, Ramos is far from being done and dusted. Arguably his most influential season for Real Madrid was in the COVID-19 hit campaign of 2019-20 where he was integral to a 10-match winning streak to clinch LaLiga, playing in 35 of the team’s 38 matches in the campaign.
Ramos needed for his bark and his bite
What is needed most from Sergio Ramos at PSG is not necessarily his bite on the pitch, but his bark. The 35-year-old is a player whose medal tally outshines everyone else in the squad and that’s saying something - one World Cup, two European Championships, four Champions League titles, and five LaLiga titles.
This gives Ramos an awful lot of standing to take charge and restore some law and order to a PSG team that has a chasm between the defense and the attack.
While Lionel Messi might not have the personality to start throwing his weight around at PSG, that’s certainly not a problem for the supremely self-confident Sergio Ramos. Ramos has spent years getting in the faces of most of his PSG teammates when playing for opposition teams. That won’t change despite being on the same side now. Watch out anyone not pulling their weight or in the same direction - like Neymar, as a random example.
While Sergio Ramos offers an obstacle to opposition, talent to teammates, the stopper extraordinaire is also a huge amount of fun for fans - the most important people of all.
Hopefully, the finger-jabbing, knee-threatening, and rabble-rousing Sergio Ramos is just days away from being back in business.