August 6, 2012 by joshilan14
An influx of new signings has taken over PSG this summer. Thiago Silva, Marco Verratti, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have all signed for the French capital club, prompting much acclaim for the side for bringing in a number of world-class players to Ligue 1. Nasser Al Khelaifi-the president of the club-even went as far as saying that the additions had helped to create a “dream team.”
Amidst all the excitement and attention, there is one man that has seemed to be forgotten. That player is Nené, the Brazilian attacking midfielder who has been a pinnacle-and arguably the best player in the last few years. Since his arrival from AS Monaco in 2010, Nené has scored a staggering 49 goals in 93 appearances in Ligue 1, an average of a goal every 1.8 games.
PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti will favour a 4-2-3-1 formation next season, with Nene’s favoured left-wing role likely to be vacated by Ezequiel Lavezzi, a winger-cum-attacking midfielder signed from Napoli. Javier Pastore and Jeremy Menez are likely to be the players taking up the attacking midfield and right-wing roles in the side. While he can also play up-front, this position will be taken up by the mercurial Sweden international Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
This means that there will be no room in this dream-team PSG for Nené; the one player that probably deserves a spot in it the most. His importance in the Les Parisiens side last season is under-stated, and without him, their battle for a Champions League spot could have been unsuccessful.
The stats back-up Nene’s importance to the PSG team. Last season he made thirty-five appearances for the club, with him scoring twenty-one goals and creating a further eleven; this made him the joint-top scorer and joint third in the assists table in Ligue 1. That is thirty-two goals created altogether. Out of the 75 goals PSG scored in the French top tier last season, Nené played a part in thirty-two, a percentage of 42.6%.
What is even more impressive is that he achieved this playing in a variety of positions last season. He played seventeen games in his favoured left-wing position, the most he played in any position. The Brazilian was also deployed as a left and right forward, a left midfielder, a right winger, an attacking midfielder and as a striker.
While Eden Hazard, Olivier Giroud and Younes Belhanda were said to be the best players in Ligue 1 last season, the statistics show this to be incorrect. It was in fact Nené who was the best played in Ligue 1 last season. Accoring to Who Scored, Nené had an average rating of 7.9 across the whole season. To put this into perspective, that is 0.5 higher than his nearest competitors in team-mate Jeremy Menez and Montepllier’s Olivier Giroud.
Nené average amount of shots per game was 2.9. Across the thirty-five games he played, he took a total of 102 shots, and he scored twenty-one of those attemps, giving him an average of a goal under every five shots he took.
His amount of man-of-the-match awards was also particularly impressive, with him getting a sensational fifteen in his thirty-five games; which means that in 42.8% of the games he played, he picked up the award for the best player.
What he has done for the club has been undermined and undervalued. The statistics show that not only the amount of goals and assists he got were impressive, but as were his goals-to-shots ratio, his amount of man-of-the-match awards and the fact he did not play the whole season in his favoured position make his statistics even better. Plus he was statistically the best player in the French top-flight last season; with him coming ahead of a number of players who have been heavily applauded abroad e.g. Eden Hazard and Javier Pastore.
It is criminal what PSG are doing to Nené. While Ezequiel Lavezzi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will light up the league, Nené’s achievements for the club will be forgotten. But then, this is the case whenever a club gets backed by multi-billionaires. Maybe it will be best for the Brazilian to pursue opportunities elsewhere, and it will not be too hard for him to find another club. If he does leave the club, PSG will have made a big mistake in letting him go. If he is left to rot on the bench, PSG will have underused a player who has done so much for the club.
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