When assessing this summer's best transfer window performances, Paris Saint-Germain are right up there after an impressive summer overhaul which pretty much rebuilt a bloated squad. Lionel Messi, Neymar and Sergio Ramos are gone which paved the way for sporting advisor Luis Campos to make the wholesale changes that had been expected upon his arrival in the summer of 2022.
Randal Kolo Muani, Ousmane Dembele, Lucas Hernandez, Goncalo Ramos and Manuel Ugarte are some of the most notable Parc des Princes arrivals this offseason. However, the reintegrated Kylian Mbappe still being present in the capital and scoring as frequently as ever has contributed significantly to an encouraging start to Ligue 1 life under new head coach Luis Enrique.
PSG are not done in the transfer market yet with further business expected before the Qatari transfer window closes with Marco Verratti and Julian Draxler the next to be moving on. All of this means that the French champions look formidable on paper once again and are also starting to show positive signs on the pitch too with Championnat wins over RC Lens and Olympique Lyonnais.
We look at the main aspects of the rebuild and how it could finally help PSG to be serious about their UEFA Champions League aims.
Strength in depth
Les Parisiens have been an anomaly for many years now in that their squad has always been stacked with talent and star names yet they have always appeared short of depth. There were certainly limited options to choose from in key positions such as central defense and midfield for Christophe Galtier and predecessor Mauricio Pochettino compared with the likes of Thomas Tuchel.
Luis Enrique has no such issues now as Campos has rebuilt the squad in core positions so that the Spanish tactician genuinely now has at least two quality options for each position on the field from goalkeeper to striker. Although there are a few key versatile individuals who can fill more than one role adequately, there are enough quality players for two very good PSG starting XIs.
An underrated feature in this reconstruction of the Parisien squad is not just Luis Enrique potentially having 22-plus players to choose from -- when fit -- but that he has players of varied profiles. For example, there is genuine width through Dembele, Bradley Barcola and Lee Kang In while Hernandez can cover the left side of central defense but also provide a solid left back option.
With Presnel Kimpembe and Nuno Mendes both currently working their way back to full fitness after injuries, the France international, who joined from Bayern Munich this summer, is already proving his worth. That despite the initial reluctance from the PSG fanbase to accept a player with strong ties to bitter rivals Olympique de Marseille which points to Campos' applied logic in his body of work.
True French core
Another noteworthy facet of this new-look Paris squad is that the clear French core to the group which has arguably never truly been the case under Qatari ownership. Mbappe and Kimpembe have long flown the flag for capital club representation within Les Bleus since Adrien Rabiot and Alphonse Areola's departures but now have Randal Kolo Muani, Dembele, Hernandez and Bradley Barcola too.
Although Rabiot and Areola's losses were significant because they promoted PSG's academy, as did the departed El Chadaille Bitshiabu, Kolo Muani restores some Paris-born identity considering that he hails from Bondy -- like Mbappe. Rising midfield star Warren Zaire-Emery is the main homegrown gem in the squad while Nordi Mukiele helps to add further Parisian blood to the makeup.
No unwanted influences
One of the biggest PSG talking points this summer was their moves to separate with some of their biggest names with Lionel Messi, Neymar, Leandro Paredes, Mauro Icardi, Marco Verratti and Hugo Ekitike all moving on or being forced out. Letting Sergio Ramos go despite his immense experience further aided the suppression of what grew to be a powerful Spanish-speaking clique over the years.
The Ligue 1 giants tried to move Neymar on for over a year before his Saudi Arabia switch which, along with Messi and Ramos, gave Campos major financial wiggle room. However, the painful divorce with Verratti best illustrates PSG's seriousness about cleaning up their act given how long his unprofessional habits were tolerated -- the Italian and fellow UCL squad absentee Ekitike should leave.
A new era
Having talked it up for a long time, this is suddenly an actual new dawn for Les Parisiens with Champions League winner and youth development specialist Luis Enrique now overseeing the construction of a genuine team ethic. Early results suggest that he and his players are on the right path but it should be noted that both Lens and Lyon have struggled so far this new term.
Perhaps later this month after a tripleheader at home to OGC Nice and Marseille in the French topflight as well as Borussia Dortmund on the continental stage will give us a better idea of where PSG are. That said, the acid test for any new player, coach or squad in Paris comes once the UCL knockouts come into play -- we are very possibly still months away from a true verdict.