The four wildly contrasting players PSG signed alongside Kylian Mbappe in 2017 and how they fared

After helping Monaco win Ligue 1 and reach the Champions League semi-finals in 2016-17, Kylian Mbappe joined Paris Saint-Germain on an initial loan deal.

Mbappe scored 21 goals in all competitions during an impressive debut season at PSG and they paid an initial £143m to make the deal permanent.

The France international has gone from strength to strength in recent years and is now regarded as one of the best players in the world.

But he wasn’t the only arrival at the Parc des Princes in 2017, and we’ve taken a closer look at the other four players PSG signed in the 2017/18 season.

Yuri Berchiche

After being released by Tottenham in 2010, Berchiche had spells at Real Union, Eibar and Real Sociedad before completing a €13m move to PSG in 2017. 

“I always want to outdo myself, and reach my challenging objectives,” Berchiche told Le Parisien. “I feel that I am able to play with world class players, even if just sharing a dressing room with them is already a dream.

“Normally, you play with them on the PlayStation!”

He managed to usurp Layvin Kurzawa as Unai Emery’s preferred starting left-back, registering two goals and four assists in 32 appearances in all competitions in 2017/18 while winning Ligue 1, the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue.

But that proved to be his one and only season in France as PSG needed to raise money in order to comply with the Financial Fair Play (FFP) requirements. 

Thomas Tuchel, who replaced Emery in the summer of 2018, allowed Berchiche to head back to his native Basque country and join Athletic Bilbao in a €20m deal.

“They are very different,” Berchiche told Bilbao’s website when comparing the dressing rooms at both clubs.

“Each dressing room has good and bad sides. But I can say that I was well integrated in both. There are good people on both sides.

“Maybe the atmosphere is more familial here with players who originate from this region, maybe there is more cohesion here. But there was a very good squad in Paris, with South American players, and sometimes I miss that too.

“In any case, I am very happy in the dressing room that I am currently in, I am happy too and happy to have had the chance to be at PSG.”

Dani Alves

Despite being heavily linked with a move to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, Alves decided to join PSG on a free transfer in 2017.

The right-back, who registered eight goals and 17 assists in 73 appearances for PSG, played in a whole host of different roles and even went in goal for the closing stages of a Coupe de France win over Sochaux.

He also won two Ligue 1 titles, one Coupe de France, one Coupes de la Ligue and two Trophee des Champions during his time in France, helping him become the most decorated player in football history.

But PSG are yet to win the Champions League and Alves, who won the competition three times at Barcelona, openly criticised the club during an interview on French radio station RMC.

“I don’t want to big myself up, but I know how to win and I know how to lose,” he said in April 2019.

“When I say something, it should be followed. And not because I know more than the rest, no, but because I have already gone through it.”

He added: “Perhaps you should listen to someone who has already gone through this and base yourself in their experience. I have already won everything and I am talking about what I have experienced and learned.”

Alves then rejected the chance to sign a new contract at the Parc des Princes and left PSG at the end of the 2018/19 season.


Alongside Mbappe, PSG also bolstered their attacking options by buying Neymar from Barcelona for a world record transfer fee of €222m.

While any player would struggle to justify that fee, the Brazil international has provided several moments of magic and also registered 111 goals and 69 assists in 159 appearances.

He’s helped maintain PSG’s domestic dominance and has won 12 trophies during his first five seasons with the club, including four Ligue 1 titles.

But Neymar has failed to achieve his main targets as PSG are yet to break their Champions League duck and he hasn’t won the Ballon d’Or. The 30-year-old even missed out on the 30-man shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d’Or.

A series of injury problems and several disciplinary issues have marred his time in France, and he continues to divide opinion among the PSG faithful.

The winger was booed by his own fans after they were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid and PSG were reportedly willing to offload him during the summer of 2022.

Despite reports of an ongoing feud with Mbappe, Neymar remained at the Parc des Princes and has enjoyed a brilliant start to the 2022/23 season.

Lassana Diarra

Technically, Diarra wasn’t signed alongside Mbappe and actually joined PSG in the January transfer window a few months later but we’re still including him here.

The former Arsenal, Chelsea and Portsmouth midfielder was available on a free transfer after leaving Al Jazira and signed an 18-month deal with PSG.

“I am very happy to have signed for my home-town club,” Diarra said. “Paris Saint-Germain represents a lot to me and, with the international dimension the club has taken in recent seasons, it is every player’s dream to play here.

“I am lucky enough to make this dream come true, to know what it feels like to play at the Parc des Princes wearing the Rouge et Bleu.

“I intend to do everything I can, bring all my experience and show all my desire to play, to prove that the club has made the right choice in showing its confidence in me.”

The midfielder, who was reportedly viewed as a long-term replacement for Thiago Motta, started nine games and made a further six substitute appearances in the second half of 2017/18 as PSG won the domestic treble.

But a knee injury restricted him to just four outings under Tuchel during the 2018/19 season. His contract was terminated by mutual consent in February 2019, and he subsequently announced his retirement from football.

READ MORE: Five reasons that led to Kylian Mbappe wanting a January transfer away from Paris Saint-Germain