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'Tuchel believed in me' - Leverkusen signing Diaby credits PSG boss with rapid rise

12:36 PM GMT 24/07/2019
Moussa Diaby PSG
The 20-year-old says the former Dortmund boss wanted him to stay in France and promised him more playing time with PSG

Bayer Leverkusen signing Moussa Diaby​ has credited Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel with his rapid rise to the Bundesliga giants. 

The 20-year-old saw limited playing time with PSG under former boss Unai Emery, but had something of a breakout campaign under Tuchel last season with the French club, scoring twice in 24 Ligue 1 appearances as they cruised to the title. 

Diaby made the jump to the Bundesliga to play for Bayer Leverkusen this summer, but says without the trust of the former Borussia Dortmund boss he would not have been able to take the next step in his career so quickly. 

"Thomas Tuchel wanted me to stay. He promised me that I would develop well under him and that he would give me enough playing time," he told Goal and SPOX.

"Everything has finally arrived, even with many other young players too. It was not enough for everyone to be a regular starter, but it has still been quite different under Unai Emery before.

"Tuchel believed in me from the beginning. Without him, I would never have made it to Leverkusen and the Bundesliga so fast."

And, despite leaving PSG for Germany, Diaby believes that Tuchel has what it takes to lead PSG to glory in the near future. 

"I was and am enthusiastic about Tuchel. He is a very nice and friendly, but also extremely ambitious coach. He obviously enjoys working with young players and making them better. He always approached the boys, every day.

"I liked the way he led the team. He puts a lot of emphasis on technical training and has introduced great training exercises and teaching methods which have previously not been known in Paris.

"That gave us a lot of fun and helped the club a lot in my opinion. He still wants to achieve a lot with PSG in all competitions, that's for sure. I can only say good things about him."

Diaby says that he would have liked to stay with PSG, but he felt he had reached an age where he needed to play more regularly to continue his development. 

"I would also like to have stayed in Paris - but then my chances would have had to improve significantly," he said. "I am a young player who urgently needs to play regularly.

"I want to improve as fast as possible. Therefore, I have looked elsewhere and did not want another loan.

"I wanted to go to a team that, like PSG, has a lot of attacking possession, has strong players and gives me the opportunity to become a regular starter soon. I would have had to wait for that in Paris - probably too long.

"Leverkusen offers me great opportunities in this regard, and at a top German club that plays in the Champions League."

The Bundesliga side paid €15 million (£13m/$17m) for Diaby's services, but the winger says rather than being intimidated by the expectations that come from such a hefty price tag, he is proud to be valued so highly. 

"The transfer fee makes me proud, because it is also for Leverkusen a very big transfer," he said. "I hope that I can justify this amount with good performances, so that one day the club and its fans can be proud of me.

"I feel no pressure. Also, I am not a PSG super talent, but one of many who have been trained in Paris.

"But I understand that when a player changes from PSG to Leverkusen, that's something special and may trigger some hype in the media. Simply because you usually change from Paris only to an even bigger club.

"But as I said, I am a young player, I am convinced of this path and believe that Leverkusen was the best choice for me."