Nordi Mukiele, PSG

One to watch: Nordi Mukiele, PSG's new raiding right-back

One to watch: Nordi Mukiele, PSG's new raiding right-back

Publish on 07/28 at 15:27 - S. TELFORD


Paris Saint-Germain have bolstered their defence with the signing of Nordi Mukiele from RB Leipzig. What else is there to know about the France international right-back?

The winds of change are blowing in Paris, with Christophe Galtier having replaced Mauricio Pochettino as coach and Vitinha and Hugo Ekitiké - from Porto and Stade de Reims respectively - joining Mukiele as new faces in the PSG dressing room.


Now a full France international with UEFA Champions League experience from his time in Germany, Mukiele should help PSG in both boxes from his favourite right-back position.

Back story:


Born in Montreuil, a commune in the eastern suburbs of Paris, on 1 November 1997, Mukiele and his brothers - fellow professional footballers Norvin and Nordan - grew up in the shadow of the Stade Déjerine, where the youth teams of Paris FC play.


A young Nordi was soon turning out for his local club, and ultimately spent nine years with Le PFC between the ages of six and 15 before making the three-hour journey west to Stade Lavallois in 2013. It was Laval who gave him his pro debut just a month past his 17th birthday, and top-flight Montpellier Hérault SC soon came knocking.


Mukiele only spent a season-and-a-half at the Stade de la Mosson, impressing on the right of La Paillade's back three, and his €16 million move to Leipzig in 2018 was a club record fee received for Montpellier. Nearly 150 games, DFB Cup win and a France debut later, and Mukiele is back in his native Paris and ready to impress.


Nordi Mukiele, Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Hernandez, France


Style of play:


An athletically gifted 6'2" defender, Mukiele has worked hard on his decision-making over the years and now, hitting his prime at 24, rarely puts a foot wrong at either end of the pitch. He was in the 97th percentile Bundesliga-wide for aerial challenges won last season, but also in the 96th for touches in the opposition penalty area and had seven goal contributions in 38 games in all competitions.


His profile also means that he can plug more than one gap at the Parc des Princes. Galtier has recently shifted to a 3-4-1-2 formation to accommodate his front three of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar Jr, and the fact that Mukiele can play in the back three and on the right flank means that both Marquinhos and Achraf Hakimi will be looking over their shoulders this season.


Current campaign:


Mukiele began pre-season as a Leipzig player and helped his former employers to a 3-1 friendly win over English Premier League side Southampton in mid-July. He was subsequently rested for the 5-0 loss to Liverpool with his move to PSG on the horizon.


Paris had already completed their pre-season tour of Japan - which took in victories over Kawasaki Frontale, Urawa Red Diamonds and Gamba Osaka - by the time Mukiele signed on, but he could be set for his debut against FC Nantes in the Trophée des Champions in Israel this Sunday.

What they said:


"He already had this quality for striking the ball and overlapping, but back then he was a decent player and nothing more; he didn't necessarily stand out. But he was hard-working, determined, and knew where he wanted to go."


- Mukiele's under-13 coach at Paris FC, Marc Moesta.


"To play in your city, it's obviously a dream because I grew up in the Paris region, in Montreuil to be precise, so to play for Paris is a source of great pride for me, for my friends and also for my family. I'm very happy to have worked hard and to be able to be here today."


- Mukiele on returning home with PSG.


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