What kind of legacy did Poch leave in Paris?

Where are they now? The 8 signings Mauricio Pochettino made at PSG

Mauricio Pochettino lasted less than two years at Paris Saint-Germain. But what kind of legacy did the Argentinian leave at the Parc des Princes in terms of squad additions?

Eight players were drafted in during Pochettino’s reign, which began midway through the underwhelming 2020-21 campaign. Appointed as Thomas Tuchel’s successor, the Parisiens ultimately ended that season as runners-up to surprise Ligue 1 champions Lille.

PSG responded to finishing second by making a number of marquee signings in the summer of 2021. They went on to reclaim the Ligue 1 title in Pochettino’s one and only full season, but he lost his job after disappointment in Europe and some unconvincing performances.

Nearly three years on, how many of Pochettino’s eight signings remain in the French capital? We’ve checked in where they’re all at today.

Georginio Wijnaldum

It wasn’t so long ago that Wijnaldum was widely regarded as one of European football’s standout central midfielders.

Wijnaldum was one of Jurgen Klopp’s most entrusted lieutenants as Liverpool won the Champions League and Premier League in back-to-back seasons.

But it was swiftly downhill from there. The Dutchman failed to convince in his debut season in Paris and was subsequently loaned out to Roma, where he spent six months out of action with a fractured tibia.

Nowadays he’s captain of Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ittifaq in the Saudi Pro League. He appears determined to make more of a go of it there than his former Reds team-mate Jordan Henderson.

Danilo Pereira

The 32-year-old Portugal international remains a solid squad option under Luis Enrique, with his versatility vital, but he appears to have lost his place in the first-choice XI this season.

Don’t expect to see Pereira starting PSG’s big Champions League knockout ties any time soon.

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Achraf Hakimi

The Real Madrid academy graduate was absolutely outstanding in Inter’s 2020-21 Scudetto under Antonio Conte.

Hakimi only spent one season at the San Siro, but the Nerazzurri’s financial woes meant they couldn’t resist cashing in on their star asset, making a considerable profit when PSG signed him in a deal worth up to €70million.

He’s continued to prove himself one of the world’s finest fullbacks, shining under three successive managers in his three years in Paris.

Mbappe loves playing alongside him, tweeting back in 2022 that he’s the best right-back in the world.

Sergio Ramos

The Spain and Real Madrid legend spent most of his debut season in Paris sidelined by injury, but he put his injury woes behind him to play a prominent role in the 2022-23 title win under Pochettino’s successor Christophe Galtier.

After seeing out his two-year contract with PSG, Ramos waved goodbye and returned home to Sevilla, turning down considerably more lucrative offers to do so.

“I had the opportunity to continue in Paris for two years, but I didn’t see it,” Ramos explained.

“I have always been moved by impulses and heart. Not by money. That’s why I didn’t go to Saudi Arabia or the MLS. That’s why I risked the call until the minute 93 to sign for Sevilla.

“I come to help out, to pull in the same direction and I am looking forward to putting on the Sevilla shield, stepping on the Sanchez Pizjuan and meeting with all of you again.

“It was not only a debt that I had with myself but also with my family, with my grandfather that made me a Sevilla supporter since I was little, with my father…It didn’t make sense to take another direction.”

Fair play.

Ramos’ romantic return to his hometown club probably hasn’t gone as he envisaged, out of the Champions League at the group stage and languishing in the bottom half of La Liga, but he’s healed some old wounds with the Sevilla faithful.

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Gianluigi Donnarumma

Fresh from his starring role in Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph, Donnarumma joined PSG as a free agent – a hell of a coup for a player considered among the best goalkeepers in world football.

He was only 22 when he joined but he’d already racked up over 250 appearances for his boyhood club AC Milan, such was his prodigious rise.

Donnarumma spent his debut season at the Parc des Princes diplomatically rotated with Keylor Navas, but nowadays he’s firmly established himself as the No.1 ahead of the veteran Costa Rican.

Lionel Messi

The Argentinian icon requested to leave Barcelona back in the summer of 2020. The club denied his wishes, only for him to tearfully depart a year later – with the state of the club’s finances making it impossible to continue.

PSG were waiting in the wings to sign Messi on a free. He did pretty well in Paris, notching 32 goals and 35 assists in 75 appearances while winning back-to-back Ligue 1 titles.

While in the French capital, Messi also won two Ballon d’Or, although those were more for his Copa America and World Cup-winning exploits for Argentina than anything he did for his club, having never quite reached the same heights he did at Barcelona, ultimately failing to lead the Parisiens to Champions League glory.

“I wasn’t ready to leave Barcelona. It was a difficult change for me. I had to rebuild my life, and I realized it wasn’t what I was looking for,” Messi recalled in a recent interview.

“I’m having fun now. Regarding my retirement — I’ll only stop when I stop having fun.”

Nowadays he cuts a much happier figure, having a whale of a time with his old pals at Inter Miami.

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Nuno Mendes

Originally signed on loan from Sporting Lisbon, fresh from winning the Portuguese title under Ruben Amorim, before signing permanently for a reported €38million fee.

The 21-year-old left-back looks a talented prospect, although he’s only recently returned to full fitness following a 10-month injury lay-off.

Mendes started both legs of PSG’s recent Champions League tussle with Barcelona and looks like a key player for the club’s future.


A bit of a technicality, this. PSG kicked their heels with getting rid of Pochettino, whose departure from the club was eventually confirmed in July 2022.

Not long before, PSG announced the signing of talented Portuguese midfielder Vitinha from Porto. The 24-year-old never played under Pochettino and is now very much a key player under current boss Luis Enrique.

Vitinha’s recent howitzer in the Champions League quarter-final victory over Barcelona served as a reminder of his quality.