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Mauro Icardi’s recent form is not concerning to Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel, who is also refusing to get worried about the contracts of key players running down.
Argentina striker Icardi joined PSG on loan from Inter at the start of the season and made a strong impact, swiftly taking Edinson Cavani’s place in the starting XI.
He scored nine Ligue 1 goals before the mid-season break, but in recent weeks he has been a little less successful in front of goal.
Prior to netting against Nantes on Tuesday, Icardi had not scored in his past six matches across all competitions, despite two of those outings being against lower-league opposition in Lorient and Pau.
Tuchel remains optimistic about Icardi finding himself again, but hinted such struggles could benefit Cavani, who PSG prevented from leaving in the January transfer window.
“I hope he [Icardi] will regain his rhythm, his confidence and that he will score goals again,” Tuchel told reporters on Saturday, ahead of Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash with Lyon.
A thrilling end to the match, earning all three points! (1-2)#FCNPSG
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) February 4, 2020
“But he remains an important player and we also see that Edi [Cavani] is also gaining in capacity.”
Thomas Meunier and Thiago Silva have played 34 Ligue 1 games between them this season, with Tuchel considering them key components of his back four.
Both have contracts that are due to expire at the end of June, and while Tuchel insists renewals are not in his remit, he reiterated they are seen as vital players.
“I feel the players very confident, very strong,” he said. “Thiago is my captain, nothing has changed, it’s the same for Thomas.
“I see them as very professional players. Thomas plays a lot, he is super important for us. Both are awesome and I’m glad they’re here, I don’t think it [the contract situation] bothers [them].
“Contracts are not things that a coach decides. It happens between the agents, the families and the club too. There are several opinions, and for me it doesn’t change anything.
“Thiago is my captain, Thomas is my right side right now because he shows that he has the qualities to play.”
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) February 8, 2020
Tuchel was similarly glowing regarding Pablo Sarabia, who has proven a useful option since joining from Sevilla for a reported €20million.
“He’s a guy who does his job well. He is extraordinary, he has the talent to play in our team,” Tuchel added. “He is super decisive and brings something different to the team.
“It’s good we have players like that. He’s important to us and it’s good because we need him. A strong team isn’t just 11 players. We gained personality with him.”