Ibrahimovic top of the pops: August review

Posted by Jonathan Johnson

Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates a goal against Lille
GettyImagesZlatan Ibrahimovic: PSG's star signing

August was a mixed month for Paris Saint-Germain but it ended on a high with the club posting their first victory of the season in a high-profile 2-1 away win over Lille before the international break. The fortnight now gives coach Carlo Ancelotti some valuable time to reflect on his sides' start to the season, but despite not immediately ascending to the summit of Ligue 1 there have been some positive signs of progress already.

Marquee summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic has hit the ground running since joining PSG from AC Milan this summer. The towering Swede has already bagged his first French football gong - August's club Player of the Month award. In just three matches 'Ibra' has found the net four times and put on some strong performances. His debut against Lorient at home saw him orchestrate a comeback from two goals down at half-time to salvage a point before his double against Lille, including the fastest goal so far this season at 27 seconds, sees him top Ligue 1 scoring chart after four games. Absent for the capital club's trip to Corsica to face Ajaccio (0-0), he was a one man band at home to Bordeaux despite failing to find the net.

Added to the positive impact of the Swedish striker, the problems in defence that plagued PSG so often last season seem to have been rectified or are at least in the process of being addressed. Two clean sheets from four games and with Thiago Silva still to make his debut; Mamadou Sakho has been enjoying a new lease of life free from the burden of the captaincy. Alex has been in impressive form too whilst Maxwell has made some good early contributions. The lack of balance from having two attacking-minded full-backs in the Brazilian and Christophe Jallet though has told at times and the backline often struggle to keep their shape and balance.

Twenty four hours before the close of the transfer deadline, PSG added another star name to their squad with the arrival of Gregory Van der Wiel from Ajax. Joining for an estimated fee of six million Euros, the Dutch international is expected to immediately challenge captain Jallet for his place in the starting line-up. Given the abundance of talent in Ancelotti's midfield, it would appear that Jallet will have to be content with a place on the bench unless the Italian is prepared to oust one of the club's more lavish investments from the starting XI. This gives the coach a headache in potentially needing to seek a new captain from his regular starters.

One name in the door and there is potentially still one name heading out of it. Brazilian winger Nene who has for so long been the star attraction at the Parc des Princes but now finds himself on the periphery of the first team, could complete a move to Besiktas before the close of the Turkish transfer window. Reported to have been in talks for weeks, the Samba star is believed to be craving first team football that Ancelotti and PSG are now finding it difficult to guarantee. Understandably behind Ezequiel Lavezzi in the pecking order but still a valuable member of the squad, the Brazilian's potential departure could be a costly error.

Despite his possible departure, the Brazilian has been named in les Rouges-et-Bleu's 25-man Champions League squad. Drawn alongside Dynamo Kiev, Dynamo Zagreb and Porto, the capital club are back in Europe's elite competition for the first time since 2003/2004 and will be aiming to make a big impact following their fortuitous draw. No surprises that Siaka Tiene and Peguy Luyindula were left out of the selection but more of a surprise that Uruguay captain Diego Lugano did not make it, losing Nene at this point in time would play havoc with Ancelotti's European plans. August was a mixed month for Paris Saint-Germain but it ended on a high with the club posting their first victory of the season in a high-profile 2-1 away win over Lille before the international break. The fortnight now gives coach Carlo Ancelotti some valuable time to reflect on his sides' start to the season, but despite not immediately ascending to the summit of Ligue 1 there have been some positive signs of progress already.

Marquee summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic has hit the ground running since joining PSG from AC Milan this summer. The towering Swede has already bagged his first French football gong - August's club Player of the Month award. In just three matches 'Ibra' has found the net four times and put on some strong performances. His debut against Lorient at home saw him orchestrate a comeback from two goals down at half-time to salvage a point before his double against Lille, including the fastest goal so far this season at 27 seconds, sees him top Ligue 1 scoring chart after four games. Absent for the capital club's trip to Corsica to face Ajaccio (0-0), he was a one man band at home to Bordeaux despite failing to find the net.

Added to the positive impact of the Swedish striker, the problems in defence that plagued PSG so often last season seem to have been rectified or are at least in the process of being addressed. Two clean sheets from four games and with Thiago Silva still to make his debut; Mamadou Sakho has been enjoying a new lease of life free from the burden of the captaincy. Alex has been in impressive form too whilst Maxwell has made some good early contributions. The lack of balance from having two attacking-minded full-backs in the Brazilian and Christophe Jallet though has told at times and the backline often struggle to keep their shape and balance.

Twenty four hours before the close of the transfer deadline, PSG added another star name to their squad with the arrival of Gregory Van der Wiel from Ajax. Joining for an estimated fee of six million Euros, the Dutch international is expected to immediately challenge captain Jallet for his place in the starting line-up. Given the abundance of talent in Ancelotti's midfield, it would appear that Jallet will have to be content with a place on the bench unless the Italian is prepared to oust one of the club's more lavish investments from the starting XI. This gives the coach a headache in potentially needing to seek a new captain from his regular starters.

One name in the door and there is potentially still one name heading out of it. Brazilian winger Nene who has for so long been the star attraction at the Parc des Princes but now finds himself on the periphery of the first team, could complete a move to Besiktas before the close of the Turkish transfer window. Reported to have been in talks for weeks, the Samba star is believed to be craving first team football that Ancelotti and PSG are now finding it difficult to guarantee. Understandably behind Ezequiel Lavezzi in the pecking order but still a valuable member of the squad, the Brazilian's potential departure could be a costly error.

Despite his possible departure, the Brazilian has been named in les Rouges-et-Bleu's 25-man Champions League squad. Drawn alongside Dynamo Kiev, Dynamo Zagreb and Porto, the capital club are back in Europe's elite competition for the first time since 2003/2004 and will be aiming to make a big impact following their fortuitous draw. No surprises that Siaka Tiene and Peguy Luyindula were left out of the selection but more of a surprise that Uruguay captain Diego Lugano did not make it, losing Nene at this point in time would play havoc with Ancelotti's European plans.

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