Since his ghostly performance against Atalanta de Bergamo (2-1) in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on August 12 in Lisbon, Mauro Icardi had no longer appeared on a field. Tuchel had left him on the bench against Leipzig and Bayern Munich. Then the Argentinian tested positive for Covid-19. A small disavowal for the former Inter Milan striker who signed up for four years after his option to buy 50 million euros was lifted by PSG in June. His two performances in the National Cup finals were also disappointing.
In the absence of Neymar and Mbappé, the Argentine was therefore eagerly awaited against Metz and also had things to prove. But still short of condition, it is to be credited with a fair copy. Surface attacker, little participant in the game, the Argentine needs balls and centers. Di Maria, still a tone above in a very disappointing Parisian team offensively, often sought to find him. Aside from two heads above (12th, 33rd), Icardi failed to really worry the Algerian international Oukidja in the first period. But we will especially remember his match, his failed action in the 77th minute.
His last goal was February 29
On a center back from Draxler, his recovery from the left in front of goals finds Oukidja’s feet. It was the biggest opportunity of the match for PSG. Icardi then turns into a passer for Di Maria but the excellent goalkeeper from Metz continues to shine (79th). A little later, he claimed a penalty on a charge in the area of Boye (87th). On a cross from Di Maria, he was then too short to catch the ball at the near post. But Draxler frees PSG (90th + 3).
Of course, we will have to wait to judge Icardi. But this back-to-school match remained in line with his last performances. He has not removed the doubts that have escorted the Argentinian since the start of 2020. Admittedly, his statistical record (20 goals in 34 games) in his first year in Paris, remains correct. But these figures remain a sham. He has not scored since February 29 (4-0 against Dijon) and had already remained on the bench during the quarter-final of the Champions League against Dortmund. Proof that he only enjoys limited confidence from Tuchel, especially in big games.
The husband of the sulphurous Wanda, has not yet shown his ability to don the costume of regular and reliable scorer, which PSG needs. After the non-renewal of Edinson Cavani’s contract and the recent refusal of Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting to accept the extension proposal of its leaders, Icardi finds himself without a real competitor. One more file to settle for the Parisian leaders by the end of the transfer window.