The best player of Euro 2020 is trapped. Salary prevents to change the club, and morally pressured by fans and competitors
Benzema urged not to put all the blame for PSG’s relegation on Donnarumma. Karim himself missed more than once, there was such a period in his career, so the classic “bringing in” the Italian goalkeeper is part of soccer for the Frenchman. Or is it a hint that Benzema will soon be partnered with Gigi? Either way, there is usually a chain of events and decisions behind every gross mistake by a goalkeeper.
Although Donnarumma has been in Milan’s starting lineup since he was sixteen, he’s only 23 years old. This is a young footballer who was not used to so much pressure and competition at the club of his youth. At Euro 2020 he was covered by Bonucci and Chiellini, who played phenomenally. And although it was the goalkeeper who was recognized as the best player of the tournament, Italy was strong because of its unity. PSG, on the other hand, has none of this.
The Qatari president is thinking about how his work will be judged by the powerful sheikhs. For Pochettino, the season in Paris turned out to be hell – the return of the championship after Ancelotti’s Champions League relegation will not count as a big win. Leonardo fears that he will be blamed for his sins and everyone else’s. No matter how many times they try to publicly declare that the atmosphere in the locker room is great, in the twenty-first century it has become a little more difficult to lie without consequences. For example, the conflict between Donnarumma and Navas is seen by all, and it is one of the reasons for Gigi’s moping.
Navas won’t give up his place in the base without a fight
Keylor and Gianluigi have stated that the current state of affairs does not suit them. The experienced Costa Rican could not find another club and his family did not want to leave Paris. So Navas, as best he can, did not give up. As a result, he takes about half of Donnarumma’s playing time. Every mistake the young man makes plays into the veteran’s hands. Keylor is not a villain – for example, set up a place in his house and took thirty refugees from Ukraine, mothers with children.
Of course, in this case he made a decision, since he is a religious man, like his wife. But at work, though, Navas is a tough guy. As soon as he senses any weakness in his rival’s club, he finishes him off. He gobbled up soft-spoken Casillas, as you may recall, with his guts. But Iker was one of the best goalkeepers in the world, like Donnarumma is now. And the Spaniard had much, much more experience. When Navas got his form, even Casillas’ status as a Real Madrid legend did not save him.
Also consider who could become PSG’s head coach in the summer. Zinedine Zidane is expected, and Navas’ capabilities are known to him. Whereas Donnarumma, like his namesake Buffon, has long been prone to unimaginable mistakes. The elder Gianluigi made up for the blunders with incredible saves. He has learned to be a leader. And PSG has a clan division. Marchinhos belongs with the South American coalition, even in his own defense Donnarumma meets those who trust Navas more.
Raiola has chained the goalkeeper to PSG with a huge salary
AC Milan fans don’t greet the goalkeeper well when he returns to Italy. They write various insults and call him “Dollarumma”. All because of the contract with PSG, under which the young goalkeeper receives almost 11 million euros per year, including bonuses. And appreciate how much the Qatari does not think about financial strategy. Gigi gets 916,000 euros a month, just like Wijnaldum, who is also unhappy with his position. And Navas is paid even slightly more – a million euros.
It’s clear why Keylor is doing everything to stay. His contract expires in just two years. The Costa Rican will not be able to find a place in the starting line-up of such a powerful club as PSG due to his age. That is, he will remain in the application, regardless of Donnarumma’s form and the amount of playing practice. But Gianluigi is constrained by this neighborhood. He’s used to playing all the time, he has a lot of energy to be on the pitch all the time. Goalkeeper gets his strength from making saves and dry kicks, and the Italian is always being pulled.
The examination, which never stops, is very tiring. But in this case, there’s also no one to give the final grade. It’s obvious to everyone that Pochettino won’t stay as head coach. Change again, uncertainty again. It’s understandable why Donnarumma is nervous. He took money, big money, but he lost regular playing practice. Found new friends in Paris, like Mbappe, and Kilian is going to Madrid. And the Italian is not expected in other “soccer capitals”.
It will be difficult for Donnarumma to develop his talents in peace
Leonardo was right to sign this goalkeeper. But first he should have persuaded Navas to leave. And so they pitted two goalkeepers, neither of whom recognizes the advantage of the other. It’s not a team like Mendy and Kepa, even if their relationship is not friendly, there is no animosity there, but rather a rivalry. Unhealthy competition harms PSG, where there are already many reasons for conflicts between different groups of players.
It is no coincidence that Mbappe is tired of the “Santa Barbara” in Paris and wants to go to Real Madrid, where there is also a lot of passion, but more of an adult approach, because there are many veterans who look at soccer more wisely. It is indicative that PSG does not make the most of the many newcomers. Neymar misses games. Ramos hasn’t played at all because of injuries. The trump card of Hakimi’s arrival is not used. Icardi, who is the only central forward, is out of the box office.
Now Donnarumma dreams of going home, but is well aware of how difficult it is to find a new team with his salary and huge price tag. The contract until 2026, the Qataris will not let him go cheaper than 50-60 million euros. Many giants will save money, Juventus has enough problems of all kinds. Buying the “new Buffon” is part of their plans. But there are limits on the amount of the deal. Donnarumma certainly doesn’t radiate peace of mind.
Could stay at PSG but lose competition to Navas. Could risk finding a new club and miss out if he gets into a team with a coach who gets fired, or run into bad times in the history of a great club. Raiola didn’t reach a deal with Juventus when the Turin side was favored to sign a free agent. Now Donnarumma is unsuccessfully looking for a way home. Further proof that competent club selection in soccer is a great thing.
Although the Italian is the most promising goalkeeper in the world, he may be stuck in Paris, where soccer has not been put in order, although they have already spent a couple of billion euros.