Neymar is not PSG’s most important player, says Pires

Neymar PSG Paris Saint-Germain
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He might be the most expensive player in the world, but he's not as integral to the Ligue 1 leaders as one of their academy stars

Former France star Robert Pires has claimed that Neymar is not the most important player in Paris Saint-Germain’s squad.

The Brazil international striker arrived at Parc des Princes in the summer for a world record fee of €222 million, but while the former Arsenal man has hailed the talents of the forward, he believes it is one of the club’s own academy products who is more vital to their fortunes.

PSG 17/4 to win the Champions League

“Neymar is the best player, he knows how to do everything with the ball, but for me the most important player for PSG is Adrien Rabiot in the midfield,” Pires told Bwin.

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“He’s one of the emerging talents in Europe – very young and very strong. He’s an asset for PSG and for France.”

Pires spent a distinguished playing career with Metz and Marseille before moving to Highbury having been signed by Arsene Wenger in 2000. He then moved to Villarreal before concluding his career with Aston Villa and FC Goa

He turned out 79 times for France and was a member of both the victorious World Cup squad in 1998 and the team that won the European Championship two years later.