This lot are ready to step up.

6 players PSG must build their future around after Kylian Mbappe’s departure

Paris Saint-Germain face an uncertain and interesting future after Kylian Mbappe’s departure this summer has been all but confirmed.

The France international is undoubtedly the perennial French champions’ star player, but they’re set to lose him on a free when his contract expires in the summer.

This is a club that have been defined by their star power in the Qatar-backed modern era, but following the exits of Lionel Messi and Neymar it looks as though they’re moving away from that Galactico model.

PSG fans need not fear what comes next, though. The club is stacked with young talent. We’ve identified six players that the club should build their future around after Mbappe waves goodbye.


Okay, the Brazil international isn’t a young gun – but experience and leadership is a cornerstone of any successful footballing project.

Marquinhos is club captain and their longest-serving player, having joined from Roma back in 2013. An older head who knows the club and can instil a serious, winning culture will be key following the departures of long-serving stalwarts like Marco Verratti and Thiago Silva in recent years.

Marquinhos turns 30 at the end of the season, but last year he extended his current deal in Paris until 2028. It’s clear that he remains firmly in the club’s plans and he ought to prove essential in maintaining high standards in the post-Mbappe era.

Manuel Ugarte

The 22-year-old established himself as one of the best young defensive midfielders in European football at Sporting CP, and last summer PSG beat the likes of Liverpool to his signature.

It was an incisive and proactive move on from Verratti, increasingly injury-prone in his latter years, and secure the future of their midfield engine room.

Ugarte is an absolute monster in terms of his physicality and ability to eat up ground, and you imagine his reading of the game will only improve as he works under Luis Enrique and Marcelo Bielsa for club and country.

Warren Zaire-Emery

One of the most gifted teenagers on the planet. PSG’s academy has produced an absolute gem.

Montpellier v Paris St Germain - Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier, France - February 1, 2023 Paris St Germain's Warren Zaire-Emery celebrates scoring their third goal with Lionel Messi

READ: The 6 wonderkids with the most potential in world football according to GOAL

Senny Mayulu

You might not know the name just yet, but soon enough everyone will.

The 17-year-old midfielder scored his first professional goal, a cheeky lob, in a 4–1 Coupe de France victory over lower league side Orleans back in January. Luis Enrique handed the youngster his Ligue 1 debut in PSG’s 6-2 victory over Montpellier at the weekend.

Expect to see the rising star further integrated into the first-team set-up next season. He has the potential to become a mainstay of their starting XI for years to come.

Xavi Simons

It’s been an interesting rise for Simons, who amassed hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers when he was a literal child, such was the hype around him at Barcelona’s La Masia academy.

He’s still only 20 years old and remains well on track to shine at the elite European level – namely his parent club, PSG, who signed him from Barcelona as a 16-year-old in 2019.

Simons made the odd cameo but it was only after moving to Eredivisie club PSV that he found regular opportunities and was able to demonstrate his ability. PSG inevitably exercised their buyback clause on Simons last summer before sending him out on loan to get experience in the Champions League and a major European league with RB Leipzig.

The Netherlands international is enjoying a superb season in Germany and will surely return to PSG to play a major role next season.

READ: The 10 Under-21 players with the most goals & assists in 2023-24: Bellingham, Palmer…

Goncalo Ramos

Mbappe may only be 25 but he’s already PSG’s all-time top goalscorer.

Directly replacing his goals – over 30 a season – will not come easy, and you wouldn’t be surprised if PSG go out and sign an out-and-out superstar in his place this summer. In terms of their existing attacking options, expect to see greater responsibility on Ramos’ shoulders.

The 22-year-old striker demonstrated his clinical edge with a World Cup knockout hat-trick against Switzerland, a game in which he took Cristiano Ronaldo’s place up top, but he’s been in and out of Luis Enrique’s starting XI since moving from Benfica last summer.

Mbappe has been playing centre-forward in what’s surely his final season in Paris. There’s a vacancy there to be filled and you wouldn’t be surprised to see Ramos take a major step forward if he’s given a consistent run of games.

READ NEXT: The 2023-24 European Golden Shoe contenders: Can anyone catch Harry Kane?

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every club in La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga & Ligue 1 in 2023-24?