'The problem is thinking there is paradise elsewhere' - Leonardo takes aim at Nianzou for leaving PSG to join Bayern Munich

Tanguy Kouassi, Bayern Munich badge
Getty composite
The Ligue 1 champions' sporting director says youngsters who leave Paris for game time often find it difficult to settle elsewhere

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has criticised academy players who leave the club because of a lack of first-team playing time at Parc des Princes, saying most find it is just as difficult to see regular action elsewhere.

In particular, he referred to Tanguy Nianzou's move to Bayern Munich in the summer, with the young defender on the fringes at the Bundesliga champions.

The 18-year-old has played just 21 minutes for Bayern this season, amid an injury-afflicted campaign which has seen him spend months on the sidelines with hamstring problems.

What did Leonardo say?

"Tanguy played with us in the Champions League and he has spent almost a year at Bayern Munich without playing," the Brazilian told France Bleu Paris radio station.

"The problem is thinking that there is paradise elsewhere. They say 'PSG lost a youngster', but sometimes I think it is not PSG who lose, but the youngsters who leave PSG."

Why has Nianzou barely featured in Germany?

The teenager turned down a new contract at PSG in the summer and signed for Bayern on a free transfer, having attracted interest from several leading clubs across Europe.

He has barely featured for the Bundesliga champions this campaign, however, with his only appearance coming as a second-half substitute in a 3-1 league victory at Stuttgart on November 28.

However, it has been injuries that have restricted Nianzou's progress rather than his ability, or the favour of manager Hansi Flick. Severe muscle injuries have kept him out for months either side of that appearance against Stuttgart.

Nianzou is now fit and available, but has not been included in the Bayern squad for their last three Bundesliga fixtures.

Article continues below

Which other players have left PSG?

Nianzou is not the first PSG academy product to exit the club in order to try and find first-team football away from the French capital.

Many have managed to establish themselves elsewhere, such as Moussa Diaby at Bayer Leverkusen, Christopher Nkunku at RB Leipzig, Dan-Axel Zagadou at Borussia Dortmund, and most notably Kingsley Coman, who scored the winning goal in last season's Champions League final as Bayern beat PSG.

Further reading

Close