'Pochettino can refine PSG's identity' - New head coach understands club's DNA, says Leonardo

Mauricio Pochettino PSG Brest Ligue 1 09012020
The Parc des Princes chief is confident that the Argentine is the right man to take the French champions forward

Mauricio Pochettino can refine Paris Saint-Germain's "identity", according to Leonardo, who says the new head coach understands the club's DNA.

PSG took the decision to sack Thomas Tuchel in December, four months after he took them to their first Champions League final.

The German paid the price for the team's inconsistent start to the 2020-21 Ligue 1 campaign, with the French champions ultimately turning to a former player to steady the ship.

Pochettino, who left his previous role at Tottenham in November 2019, was handed a two-year contract at Parc des Princes earlier in January, with the option of an extra year should he hit his targets over the next two seasons.

The Argentine has made a strong start to his coaching career at PSG, steering them back to the top of the Ligue 1 standings while also delivering the Trophee Des Champions - the first piece of silverware he has won as a manager.

Pochettino watched his side secure the trophy by beating Marseille 2-1 earlier this month, with goals from Mauro Icardi and Neymar ensuring that the Parisians remain the dominant force in their homeland.

A 1-0 win away at Angers at the weekend saw PSG return to the summit in the French top flight, and they are now looking forward to a home fixture against Montpellier on Friday.

Leonardo is confident that Pochettino is the right man to take the club forward, and has backed the 48-year-old to stamp his own mark on the squad in the coming years.

The PSG sporting director told France Football: "I think it is important to assert a style on the pitch. Because Paris must have its identity. It does not happen in a few weeks but over several years.

"And I think that Pochettino can allow us to refine that in a consistent way and in connection with the club's DNA."

Leonardo faced criticism last summer for allowing a number of key players to run down their contracts, with the likes of Thiago Silva, Edinson Cavani and Thomas Meunier all moving on to pastures new.

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The Brazilian has now come out to defend the club's transfer policy, while assessing the impact PSG's new signings have had in the first half of the season.

Leonardo added: "Last summer was the end of a cycle for some. All concerned knew it. The record of arrivals Moise Kean, Mauro Icardi, Danilo Pereira, Alessandro Florenzi, Rafinha?

"First, give them time to acclimatise. But I am very satisfied with their contribution."