Paris FC - Coming Out From PSG's Shadow

Chapter 43: Giving Ourselves A Shot At Champions League Qualification

With Jonny's loan spell coming to an end and him returning to Wolves (I didn't think he did enough for us last season to justify keeping him here on a £30k p/w wage), I needed extra cover at right back. Omar Elabdellaoui is coming to the end of his career but he can do a job for us for a season and he was cheap...well actually he was free!


We were handed a really tough draw in our qualifier for the Champions League!

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But we would go into it with the best possible preparation after an unbeaten pre season, which was capped off with a very impressive result against Atletico Madrid.

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Another youngster joins the club as I fork out £54k to bring 17 year old Richard Kratky in from Sparta Prague.


The first leg against Benfica ended with a very decent draw out in Portugal. The stats might even suggest that we'll be favourites to win at home and go through!

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In between the two games, we were also due to kick off our Ligue 1 campaign with a tough first game against Marseille. The bookies are gaining more respect for us now though and we are predicted an 8th placed finish. Wonderkid, Dragoslav Cupac also made the media dream eleven this season - the first of my players to ever do so.


Plenty of VAR controversy on the opening day as we play out a 1-1 draw with Marseille, with 4 goals disallowed for offside between the two sides. A decent result for us though considering they put 6 past us last time we met!


And that led us back to Champions League qualification and we produced a brilliant performance against Benfica to see us through to the final qualifying phase for the group stage!

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It's fair to say that Benfica are a much better side than Club Brugge, so we've got to fancy our chances of going through.

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Before that though, we had an away day with St Etienne in the league to attend to. A convincing performance as we chalked up our first league win of the season.

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I wasn't going to post the league table after just 2 games, but I thought it was worth noting that this might be one of the only updates I've ever done when PSG don't top the division.

Chapter 44: Champions League Group Stage Here We Come!

A dominant display in the first leg of our Champions League qualifier against Club Brugge sees us take a 2 goal advantage back to Belgium. If we can nab an early away goal out there, we'll be very much in the driving seat!

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I decided to rest some players for the Strasbourg game and we definitely weren't at our best, but still managed to bag another win in the league.


Mission accomplished! A 0-0 draw in Belgium ensures we will be playing in the group stages of this year's Champions League!!

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The finances that will bring into the club could be a game changer for us! And it begins with a £14 million cash injection just for qualifying!

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So it made sense to immediately ask the board for upgrades to the youth facilities.

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As 4th seeds for the group stage draw, it was always going to put us up against it. We'll take on Manchester United, RB Leipzig and Feyenoord and it could turn out to be the toughest group to call with no clear and outright favourites for me.

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A hammer blow for the club as I'm backed into a corner to sell Ibou Sissoko. The man I bought from Reims for less than a million quid has been excellent for us over the last 2 seasons at the heart of the midfield, but he became unhappy over the Summer after I rejected a transfer bid of £3 million for him. He has caused nothing but unrest since and it quickly became clear I'd have to cash in as much as I could for him before the transfer window closed. He joins Genoa for a fee of £6.75 million up front, which may rise to £8 million with add ons. A good return on him, but still gutted to lose him!


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I replaced Sissoko with Marcel Mehlem. I needed a central midfielder who was aggressive and a solid tackler of the ball...that was the role that Sissoko played for us. With limited funds available, I wasn't exactly spoiled for choice, but Mehlem has a decent track record, recording decent average ratings in Belgium over the last few seasons and should prove worth the £4 million investment.


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We were really unlucky not to beat Lille. We went 2-0 up and then I made all my subs, before we suffered two injuries and I ended up with 9 men. At that point, Lille over ran us and pulled the two goals back to earn a draw!


The transfer window has closed and it was a very interesting one for our main rivals. They sold both Mbappe and Haaland to Real Madrid, whilst Rodrygo came back the other way. Real Madrid to win this year's Champions League anyone??


FC Lorient were no match for us as we dominated them throughout in our next league game.


We then kicked off our Champions League Group and we start with a fantastic result, grabbing all 3 points at home to RB Leipzig. If we are going to stand any chance of qualifying, then our home games will be essential.


Two good wins followed in the league, before a shock defeat to Amiens. Five games in two weeks proved to be a little much for the team and their tired legs showed against Amiens....the ability to manage a much busier schedule will be our biggest adjustment to make this year as we adapt to Champions League football.

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Despite that defeat, we still sit 2nd in the table and are the closest challengers to the mighty PSG, who do already have a 4 points buffer at the top though!

Chapter 45: Worst Run Of Form Under My Management

Despite the high we are living this year in the Champions League, we are brought back down to earth by Manchester United who put us firmly in our place as the rank outsiders of the tournament!

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In the league, things were all good though as we rack up a win against Nantes, before getting a credible point away at Monaco.


But back in the Champions League, it was another big defeat as we were simply outplayed in Holland. This Champions League **** is hard!

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In the league, Lyon proved too strong and it was relatively easy to see why they are the front runners to topple the mighty PSG!


I needed a reaction from my players to keep us in touch with the leaders in the division and they duly delivered with an easy win over Nancy. Sasa Basic came off the bench to score his first senior goal for the club.


Going into our 4th group game in the Champions League, we desperately needed a win over a Feyenoord side that had played us off the park only 2 weeks before. And I don't think anyone could predict the result that came....we were in complete control for the entire 90 minutes as we record an incredible victory. Anthony Elanga was simply sensational!


With 2 games remaining, we have a chance of qualifying for the knockout rounds. Failing that though, we should almost definitely finish at least 3rd and go into the Europa League.

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Back in Ligue 1, can anyone explain to me how we lost this game 3-0!!


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The board have upped the current transfer budget to £6 million so I'll have a little bit to play with in the January window.

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After such a poor performance against OGC Nice, we'll be needing every penny of that money to make improvements in January too!


So next up was a massive fixture against RB Leipzig. Despite them coming into the game bottom of the group, Nagelsmann is still claiming that we are 'easy' opponents! Cheeky b**tard!

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Although it turns out he was right! A terrible showing from us!


And things didn't get any better back in domestic action either!


We've now lost 6 of our last 8 in all competitions and this is the worst run we've been on since I took over at the club!

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Despite that, we do remain in 5th place in Ligue 1 though....although there is an ever growing gap to PSG at the top and we won't be mounting a title challange this season!


And in the Champions League, we could still qualify for the knockout stages as well. And we're in a good position as the final games see us play United and Feyenoord and Leipzig take each other on. No matter what happens we are guaranteed a 3rd place finish and will go into the Europa League as a worse case scenario!

Chapter 46: A New Formation

With our recent bad run of form, I've noticed a few gaps in our performances, so it was time for a change up in formation. We've built a better squad over the past 5 seasons so it makes sense to utilize our stronger players in a different way to suit their strengths anyway.

First thing I have noticed is that my full backs are decent passers of the ball, but their ability to cross leaves a lot to be desired. I've noticed the quality of their crosses coming in has been sub standard, so decided to move away from getting them bombing on down the wing, and instead will use them to overload the midfield as inverted wing backs instead. This should play to their strengths as comfortable passers of the ball and have them make a more significant impact on our build up play.

With the inverted wing backs packing out the centre of the park more, I am able to play just one DM and 2 AM, as there will be more than enough cover for the more advanced players. The DM role is simply an anchorman...I don't need him performing any miracles....just sit in that gap and break up the opposition play. The front men have enough creativity, that he doesn't need to be a creative player himself.

The 2 wide midfielders are set up more like wingers as they are encouraged to bomb on down the wing, run wide with the ball and fire crosses into the box from the byline. However, with my old formation, I noticed that the lone front man was struggling to get on the end of the crosses as he was often the only person available in the box and heavily outnumbered. Now, with the 2 AMs, they will support him and also be in the box to get on the end of the crosses.

All in all, this is a much more attacking formation (granted, with more risk), but I firmly believe we have the players that can dominate games for us now and this formation will allow them to do it.


And the new setup immediately brings about a much needed win.


And we followed that up with another win as 3 goals in the opening 24 minutes quickly put RC Lens to the sword.


The promise of a golden generation increases the hype around this season's youth intake. A few tasty wingers to look out for apparently, which might sit very nicely with my new tactic.

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Talking of youth, I'll use this opportunity to show off Steeven Ongenda. He has been my most successful product of the youth system so far, making 74 senior appearances for the club already despite being on 19 years of age. The young right back has become one of the most important players in the team and in his new role as an inverted wing back playing to his strengths, he could go on to become better still!


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Let's hope I can fight off interest from the likes of Lille for him. Although a reported fee of £41 million would be incredibly difficult to turn down!

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Our final group stage game in the Champions League saw us earn a very credible draw at home to Manchester United, in a match that saw us give as good as we got and we could very easily have nicked the win on the day.

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Unfortunately, in the other game, Leipzig gave Feyenoord a 4-1 thrashing which saw them just edge us out of the top 2 on goal difference and we will go into the Europa League from here.


And considering the quality of some of the teams left in that competition, I actually feel like we've been handed a very winnable tie.

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Another bore draw back in the league...a disappointing one against Brestois to be honest in a game I'd expected us to win.


So since switching to the new formation, we are yet to concede a single goal with the new setup. Although we do have PSG in our final game before the 2 week Winter break so we knew that might be about to change.

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And we were right as PSG managed to get 2 past us. But it wasn't a defeat as we managed to secure a very good point away from home against the champions!


However, that doesn't tell the whole story about how good a point this really was! We were ill disciplined in the match and actually managed it with just 9 men on the field for nearly the entire 2nd half!

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8 points from our last 4 league games keeps us in 5th and in contention for European qualification at the mid way stage of the season.

Chapter 47: A Massive Signing!!!


We make a massive signing as ex PSG striker, Mauro Icardi, joins the club! It is only a loan deal for the rest of the season from Tottenham, but still, he is the first world class player we've brought to the club and the signing is a massive statement of how far we've come in the last few years! Let's hope the man that PSG once paid £53 million for, can be a major success for the next 6 months!


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We used our first cup game of the season to introduce Icardi to the fans and in a first half that saw him bag a brace and get 2 assists on his debut, we were already 7-0 up by the break! As we stepped off the gas in the 2nd period, we only added another 2, but still the win is a ridiculous one at 9-0!

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One player did leave the club as well. We picked up Omar Elabdellaoui on a free in the Summer, but he had been a disruptive influence in the dressing room, so when Stromsgodset came in with a bid of just over £150k, I took the opportunity to make a quick (if small) profit.


Icardi didn't manage to score on his return to Ligue 1 action, although we did still record a very comfortable victory at home to St Etienne.


Back in the cup, we record another easy win against lower league opposition. We scored honestly could have been another 9!

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With Mauro Icardi coming in during this window, it gave me the opportunity to send promising striker Sasa Basic out on loan to get some regular first team football and continue his development. He'll be a first team regular for Kaiserslautern and we'll keep an eye on his progress in Germany over the coming months. I feel like this kid could be a big player for us!


Now this next signing could prove to be a bit of a risk. 16 year old German attacking midfielder Andre Fruhauf looks absolute quality already and I'm hoping will develop into a world class player one day. That's why I've forked out £5.5 million to bring him to Paris from PSV, despite him being completely unproven and so young!


Two more draws, both disappointing if I'm honest! We only get a point from the league game against Strasbourg and luckily scrape through on penalties in the cup against Lorient. We must do better, and Mauro Icardi needs to up his game to justify the £49k per week that we are contributing towards his wages!

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And then an absolute belter of a game followed against Lille who sat just behind us in the league at kick off. A massive result for us!


A win over FC Lorient was followed up with a defeat to Montpellier. We definitely didn't deserve to lose that game though after we had 18 shots to their 3!!


That defeat was our first in 13 games since changing formations! A run that also saw us keep 9 clean sheets!

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We've moved up to 4th in the league, but we're miles behind the top 3 and even with 14 games left, 4th might be the best we can hope for this season!


In other news, the board agreed to invest in the academy coaching taking it to an excellent level!

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Chapter 48: Bang Average In The League, Decent In The Cups

Five perfect penalties saw us through to the semi final of the cup after beating FC Metz. We really should have had this wrapped up in 90 minutes though, although you could say we were unlucky after hitting the woodwork 3 times!


The semi final draw pits us against Bordeaux. It's the best possible draw we could have asked for with PSG and Marseille up against one another as arguably the two best sides in the competition.

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We really are missing way too many chances at the moment and it cost us again here as we dropped points away at 16th placed Le Havre.

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Our first taste of the Europa League ends in victory. We had to come from behind, but will take a 1 goal lead to Switzerland in the 2nd leg!

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Back in the league it was a case of more dropped points though!


Despite our indifferent form, in Europe we continue to do OK and a decent win in Switzerland sees us through to the next knockout stage of the Europa League.

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And we'll take on Lazio in the next round. That will be a much more difficult tie for us!

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Despite our opponents playing with 10 men for nearly an hour, we struggled to find a way through against Nantes in the league and had to rely on an own goal to scrape a 1-0 win!


As we prepared to take on Bordeaux in the semi final of the Coupe de France, things were definitely in our favour as far as past form goes, with 4 wins from 4 against them!

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And we continued the trend as we beat them again here and progress to our first Coupe de France final!

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Where we will take on Marseille after they overcame PSG on penalties in the other semi!

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We seem to be doing OK in the cups for now, but in the league we are definitely only average. And Monaco made us look bang average as well on their way to a 1-0 win over us!


With 10 games of the league campaign remaining, we are definitely in a fight to finish in the top 6 and qualify for next year's European competitions, although the top 3 looks well out of reach at this stage!


The youth intake was a massive let down as well. We were promised a golden generation and this is nowhere near that with only one player looking like a half decent prospect.

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Chapter 49: A Decent European Run

In the Europa League, we managed to build a huge advantage with a 2-0 home win against Lazio. Keeping a clean sheet at home and taking a 2 goal lead to Italy is massive and we have to be considered strong favourites from here to progress.

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Back in the league, Mauro Icardi turned in exactly the type of performance I hoped he would when I brought him in. A hat trick helped us on our way to seeing off title challengers Lyon, despite their late attempt at a fightback.


Back out in Italy for the 2nd leg of our Europa League clash with Lazio, the nerves started tingling when they levelled up the scores at 2-2 inside 10 minutes! However, that away goal from Nils Mortimer was huge and settled us right down. After that, there's no doubt we were the better side and although we didn't manage to level things up on the night, we go through on aggregate!

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And we'll now play Everton in the Quarter Final, who incredibly overcame Bayern Munich in their tie!

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In Ligue 1, we were really bad against Nancy and found ourselves largely outplayed for long periods of this game and were eventually lucky to come away with a point!


A much improved performance against SM Caen puts us in good spirits before we take on Everton in Europe!


But despite that, we still got a good hiding over in England! We have it all to do in the return leg at home now!

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But before we invite The Toffees back to Paris, we had the matter of OGC Nice to take care of back in our domestic competition. In all fairness, we made pretty light work of them!


As far as the second leg went with Everton, we gave it a go and created plenty of chances, but they were too good for us and we simply couldn't find a way through. Over the course of the two legs, the better side won, but I think we did ourselves proud in our first ever season in European competition.

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Focus turned back to Ligue 1 and a big game against Stade Rennais would see 5th and 6th come up against each other as we both look to cement our place in the top 6.

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But neither side was able to gain the upper hand.


We definitely weren't at our best against Sochaux either, but Marko Milenkovic's 5th goal of the season late on snatched all 3 points for us.


Milkenkovic has 9 assists to go with his 5 goals in all comps this year and looks to be developing into a very tasty player! He's only 20 still and is definitely an exciting prospect for us if we can keep hold of him!


With 4 league games to go, it looks like it is now going to be a fight between us and Monaco for that 4th place spot!

Chapter 50: Cup Final Heartbreak

Next up for us was possibly the biggest game of my career so far. A chance to lift the Coupe de France for the first time in the club's history. Marseille are the favourites, but the bookies reckon it's likely to be a close game.

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The lineups... Jean-Kevin Duverne was not at full fitness and couldnt start and with Chris Richards missing majority of the season so far through injury, I did have a concern at centre back for this one. Other than that, I was relatively happy going into this one!



At half time, we found ourselves 1-0 down to an early penalty. Encouraging that it was their only shot of the whole half and although we didn't exactly batter their goal, I felt we were in a position to get back on terms in the 2nd period at least.

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It took us all the way up until the 84th minute....and then this happened!

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However, the elation lasted all of 3 minutes...

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And that was that! Absolutely gutted to lose, but reaching our first cup final gives us confidence and something to build on in the seasons ahead. We'll benefit from this experience in the long run I'm sure.

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A routine win over bottom side Lens was quickly followed up with a shocker against Brestois.



That meant we would finish 5th no matter what happened in our last 2 games. Which is lucky as we got a good hiding in both!

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Chapter 51: 2025/26 Season Review

Another decent season in the top tier as we finish 5th and qualify for next year's Europa League Group Stage. PSG again won the title although they were pushed right up to the penultimate game by Lyon. Other than Nantes finishing just above the relegation places, there weren't really any major shocks in the placings this year.


We received another nice boost to the club's finances for our final position, which now takes the bank balance to the highest it's ever been.

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That was accompanied by a boost in revenue in all areas of the club again.


So it was no surprise to see I've been handed my biggest budget yet for the Summer. Just shy of £20 million for transfers and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do with it.


In our first ever venture into the Champions League, we did ourselves proud, qualifying for the group stage, before finishing 3rd and just getting pipped by Leipzig on goal difference for that spot in the knockout rounds. Manchester City lifted the trophy after beating Liverpool on penalties in the final.

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After dropping down into the Europa League, again we gave a good account of ourselves managing to overcome Young Boys and Lazio before Everton proved too much in the quarter final. The Toffees went on to lose to Tottenham in the final, whilst we were rated as the biggest overachievers in the competition.


And in the Coupe de France, we made the final for the very first time, but were just undone by Marseille on the day.

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Couple of question marks over this season's best eleven, especially with Elabdellaoui in that right winger role after just 9 games for the club and even when he did play, he was at right back!

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The players are sorted here by appearances. It was no surprise to see that Diomande and Duverne played more than anyone else this season as my first choice centre back pairing were the two best players of the year by far! The wide men did well on the assists and goals front and both strikes gave a solid contribution with Icardi being a decent acquisition in January on that loan deal. Not enough players scored over the 7.0 benchmark average for me this year though and I will definitely be looking to shift some players on this Summer and bring in better replacements. One final thing to note is that out of my two young Serbs, Cupac (who was the more promising when signed) was completely outshone by Milenkovic.


Fan's Player of the Season = Jean-Kevin Duverne
Young Player of the Season = Sofiane Paris
Signing of the Season = Sinaly Diomande

My Player of the Season = Jean-Kevin Duverne
My Young Player of the Season (U23) = Steeven Ongenda
Most Disappointing = Dragoslav Cupac

Top Goalscorer = Abdoul Karim Camara (21 in all comps)
Most Assists = Nils Mortimer (16 in all comps)

Exciting times ahead as we confirm that the plans for our new stadium will go ahead!

Chapter 52: A Load Of Transfer Business

Players Out

First of all, I had one player worth noting that was released. Stefano Gori was a brilliant signing for me and made 141 appearances under me between the sticks. He played second fiddle for most of last season though which had ruffled his feathers a bit and wanted to leave for first team football. I wasn't going to stand in his way after being such an important part of my team over the past few years and I wish him all the best.


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Axel Bamba has been a big part of my team since I arrived and made 151 of his 177 club appearances under my management. However, I feel it's time to move the centre back on as I feel we have better options and can bring in better backups than him. He moves to QPR for £1.4 million.


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The next one was my big sale of the Summer. Steeven Ongenda came through the club's youth intake in my very first season and he developed into a first team starter, making 86 appearances for the club at right back. Sheffield United came in with a bid of £18 million and I immediately upped it to £30 million thinking they wouldn't pay it, but they accepted my negotiation. I'm not exactly pleased to see the youngster leave the club, but £30 million was too good to turn down. Especially as it also involves £5.5 million in add ons as well as a 30% of sell on profit clause.


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There was a lot of hype around Ousmane Camara when he first came through the youth system and although he made over 50 appearances for me, he never really made it for me. So I allowed him to leave on a free to join Girona.


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Players In

What an absolute steal this is for my first signing of the Summer. 20 year old wonderkid, Allan Deknuydt made 82 appearances for RC Lens senior side and was a first team regular in Ligue 1 for them last season. The defensive midfielder was unhappy after their relegation this season and I've managed to snap him up for a fee of just £1.4 million, which is amazing considering he is immediately valued at £5.75 million upon joining us!


After Steeven Ongenda left the club, I needed to apese the fans by bringing in another talented youngster to replace him. I've managed to grab another bargain in the form of another wonderkid in the form of Jose Alberto Gil. The 19 year old right back has joined from Cruz Azul for just £2.5 million and rejected offers from Porto, Wolves and West Ham to come here!


I still needed a second right back and Clement Michelin will provide the competition for that position. He joins from Brentford for £4.6 million.


Next up is a loan signing from Manchester City. Damian Carli is a 21 year old Argentinian winger/forward who has pace and determination in abundance. With some decent dribbling skills, a good pass and great technique, he could be a solid creator for us this year.


Trezeguet adds a good amount of experience to my very young side and the ex Aston Villa player can still do a job for us at our level. He'll be a decent squad player I'm sure. We paid £3 million which was dirt cheap considering his ability.


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With Stefano Gori being allowed to leave this Summer, I had to bring in another keeper. The man I went for was Stole Dimitrievski and he cost me just £1.4 million from Espanyol, where he has been their number 1 for the last 2 seasons in La Liga.


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Now this next one is one I've known about for a while but kept quiet. In January, I agreed a deal to bring Riqui Puig in on a free transfer when his contract expired at the end of the season with Stade Rennais. What a piece of business as the Spanish midfielder is immediately worth £19 million. I've literally robbed them!


Boosting the midfield with another French player was something I wanted to do and I'm delighted to add box to box midfielder, Matteo Guendouzi, to the squad for a fee of £5.5 million from Gladbach. The ex Arsenal centre mid has struggled for game time in Germany over the past couple of seasons and can revive his career with us back in his home country.


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I then invested a shed load of the Ongenda transfer money into smashing the club's record transfer fee! Welcome Denis Dragus to the club. The Romanian striker joins the club from Standard Liege where he averaged more than a goal every 2 games, for a fee of £15.5 million. He has a very good goalscoring record over the past 5 seasons in Belgium and I'm hoping he can replicate it for us in France and prove to be well worth the investment.


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Oh, and there'll be another improvement to the training facilities further pushes the club towards competing with the best in the country!

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Done really well to finish 5th last season and have Europa League football as well will be good to see what you can do in the group stages there as well.

Some excellent transfer business as well so good luck for the season ahead.
Done really well to finish 5th last season and have Europa League football as well will be good to see what you can do in the group stages there as well.

Some excellent transfer business as well so good luck for the season ahead.

Cheers bud! Have to say that I'm pretty excited about the upcoming season with the transfer business we've done. I think Trezeguet could be the dark horse ya know!