Why Randal Kolo Muani is such a smart transfer for Paris Saint-Germain
In recent times Paris Saint-Germain have decided to spend huge sums on already well known superstars and the spending trend has continued with the deadline day purchase of Randal Kolo Muani from Eintracht Frankfurt for a reported €95 million.
However Kolo Muani is not yet the finished article and is still just 24, so the hope for Luis Campos and Nasser Al-Khelaifi will be that he can lead the line for years to come.
Who is Randal Kolo Muani?
The French international made his name at regional outfit US Torcy before being snapped up by Ligue 1 side Nantes.
The versatile forward thrived in the north-west club’s academy ranks so much, that they had to fight off interest from bigger French outfits who were vying to take him elsewhere.
The striker made his league debut in 2018 but had to wait until the 2020/21 season for regular action under head coach Antoine Kombouare. Kolo Muani took part in every league game except a single one that season and hit an impressive nine goals and eight assists in league play.
This put him in good stead for 2021/22 where he became the main attacking threat alongside Ludovic Blas for the Canaries, in a season where they won the Coupe De France to qualify for the Europa League.
Kolo Muani was again the main attacking threat with 13 goals and seven assists in all competitions which only made his stock rise. Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt came calling that summer.
Frankfurt pulled off a real coup by getting Kolo Muani on a free transfer and few would have predicted how well he would fare in Germany. Right away, he looked like the real deal, scoring on his debut against Bayern Munich before adding three goal involvements in his next two starts.
By the end of the season Kolo Muani had notched 15 league goals and a further 14 assists meaning he was third top scorer and the top assist maker in the 2022/23 Bundesliga season.
Add to this a couple of strikes in the Champions League and it was clear clubs would come calling after only a year in Germany.
Where does Kolo Muani fit in at PSG?
To answer this question simply, Kolo Muani will be expected to lead the line as a central striker, which will allow Kylian Mbappe to play off the left in his preferred position and Ousmane Dembele to play off the right.
However, it would be naive to suggest that Kolo Muani will simply stay up top as he is a striker who likes to come deep and link with his teammates. With so many quality ball players in this PSG team, this could be a real asset for manager Luis Enrique.
When watching him in action it becomes clear that he thrives making when making runs beyond his man and into the danger zone, before firing off shots towards goal. With the pace and skill of Kolo Muani, Mbappe and Dembele, PSG’s midfield could have a field day playing through balls in behind opposition defensive lines.
One thing that PSG have lacked since the days of Edinson Cavani is that of a goal poacher, and Kolo Muani definitely has that ability in his locker.
Due to his game intelligence, Muani can find space in the box and be ready to finish off chances with his head or either foot. In games against deeper defences this could well be the difference maker.
In Enrique’s high possession based system, the striker needs to be ready to finish off chances in the box after interplay through the lines. Kolo Muani could just be the man to fire in the many chances that will be created by his teammates.
Having recently become involved with the French national team, he will hope that this move to PSG and regular Champions League football will make him the first choice striker ahead of the 2024 European Championships.
Although Kolo Muani makes a lot of sense as a transfer, it does beg the question as to why PSG also signed Benfica front man Goncalo Ramos. Both of them prefer to line up as central strikers, but both will also want to be playing every game so it will be up to Enrique to select who he thinks fits the system best.
One last aspect of Kolo Muani’s game that goes rather under the radar is his defensive work and high work ethic. This aspect has been lacking in recent seasons, so if Kolo Muani can lead the press and hard work from the front then expect the rest of the team to follow suit.
With his hard work, clinical finishing and tactical flexibility, it looks like PSG have secured a player for the long term on deadline day. If he can help Mbappe play at his best and inspire the team to Champions League glory then he may just become a Parisian legend.