PSG: what if Mbappé was not on the trip to Leipzig?

Stop or else? The question, necessarily, has been trotting in the head of Thomas Tuchel since this weekend. Should he align Kylian Mbappé Wednesday night in Leipzig in defiance of the alarm signal sent by his right thigh during the match against Nantes? Or are the risks linked to the meeting of the 3rd day of the Champions League, already capital in the race for the round of 16, too high to do without the tricolor world champion in Germany?

For others than him, perhaps, the thinking would have been different, the choice less thorny and the suspense already raised. But Kylian Mbappé is not the first to come. Top French scorer for two seasons, the Bondynois is still the finest trigger in Ligue 1, having scored seven times in six games. His four assists also make him the second passer in the championship. Whether dazzling or more inside, his influence on Parisian results is almost irrational. With a counter already posting 7 goals and 6 assists in all competitions, he alone is involved in 50% of the 26 Parisian goals scored since the start of the season.

So here is Thomas Tuchel faced with a serious dilemma a few hours before the date which will decide the weather, sunny or stormy, which will then accompany PSG in the rest of its European campaign. The defeat conceded at the Parc des Princes in front of Manchester United (1-2) in raising the curtain now offers only a limited margin of error to the German technician. Already deprived of Neymar, having to also do without a Mbappé whose name alone is enough to worry a defense, would be a sacred tile for Thomas Tuchel and PSG.

Reassuring care and MRI despite everything

But would aligning it be a better calculation? Saturday in Nantes, the Parisian number 7 cast doubt on leaving the field in the 74th minute. “It’s starting to shoot,” he blurted, according to Canal + to Christophe Baudot, the team doctor, returning to the locker room with one hand on the back of his right thigh. In reality, the world champion would have felt a point, comparable to that which manifests itself during a contracture. A type of injury that sometimes only orders a few days of cut for players pampered by a medical staff at the forefront. In other circumstances, for a game with lower stakes, the package would have been no doubt. There, Paris tried to play the clock. This Monday, while his partners were training at Camp des Loges, Mbappé increased the care and had an MRI, in order to find out a little more about the discomfort felt in Loire-Atlantique.

During the day, the trend seemed rather favorable as for the chances of the Parisian to embark on Tuesday morning for Leipzig from Le Bourget. Even diminished, the insatiable glutton that he is did not seem to want to miss the reunion with the semi-finalist crushed (3-0) in August at the Final 8 in Lisbon. However, the movement could have been reversed in the evening. In a match where, the desire for revenge of Leipzig will impose a flawless fight, the presence of a lessened player and / or subject to a more significant injury in the event of participation in the battle, could push Paris to caution.

After seeing him play 11 games – including the French team – in a month and a half, Thomas Tuchel inevitably questioned the merits of his use in the starting XI, as on the bench. The examples of Neymar, injured for several weeks after having forced on a pain last Wednesday in Turkey, or that of Leo Paredes, out from Nîmes for having pulled too much on the rope, will necessarily weigh on the final choice.

“In this type of case, the scenario is often the same,” explains a recognized medical source in professional football. The coach, the player and the doctor sit around a table and make a decision together after measuring the difference between the benefits and the risks. If Mbappé is not at Le Bourget this Tuesday morning, it is because for all, the game was not worth the candle.

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