Mbappe, PSG announcement: Salah among potential replacements ranked from worst to best

Lewis Oldham
Mbappe replacements ranked
Kylian Mbappe replacements ranked from worst to best...

Kylian Mbappe has *finally* announced that he will leave Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, so who could replace him at the Ligue Un giants?

With his imminent exit confirmed, the conversation surrounding the Real Madrid-bound World Cup winner will likely switch to who will replace him at PSG.

Mbappe has caused PSG no end of headaches during his rollercoaster ride at the club. He is bloody hard work, but he also happens to be one of the best footballers in the world and is a sure-fire future Ballon d’Or winner. So swings and roundabouts.

PSG and Mbappe going their separate ways is long overdue given the widely reported butting of heads that’s taken place between player and board.

In the long run, the French side will be better off for not having the egotistical forward stealing all their limelight. But in the short term, a high-calibre replacement is required and of the six players most heavily linked with PSG, we have ranked from worst to best (i.e. How well-qualified they are to replace Mbappe)…


6) Luis Diaz
The Liverpool attacker is perhaps most likely to leave the Premier League giants in the summer and that in part is why he finds himself so far down this list.

The Reds hijacked Tottenham Hotspur to sign Diaz in January 2022 and the £37.5m winger settled in like a duck to water before a severe knee injury put his blossoming career on hold.

Sadly, the 27-year-old has not been the same player since returning to full fitness. He has the potential to be breathtaking when he’s terrorising defenders at his supreme best, but his final product (or lack thereof) is often his downfall.

If Liverpool are able to make a tidy profit on the Columbia international this summer, they would be wise to sanction his sale with an upgrade on the left flank, a centre-back and at least one full-back needed before next season. PSG and Barcelona are understood to be the sides interested in Diaz and while he would be a good signing, there are better alternatives out there…

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5) Marcus Rashford
Had this article been published a year ago, Rashford would certainly be a few spots higher but he has suffered a severe fall from grace this season.

During a campaign in which his desire has been questioned, Rashford has appeared at times to have lost his love for football (again) as he has looked a shadow of his best self just 12 months after his 30-goal season in 2022/23.

Rashford to PSG looked pretty likely during the 2022 transfer window until the temptation of having a fresh start under Erik ten Hag at his boyhood club proved too strong to ignore.

Fast forward two years, Rashford is among ‘almost every player’ at Man Utd who is up for sale. Despite his immense natural ability, teams are not exactly queueing him to take him elsewhere.


4) Rafael Leao
Long-heralded as a future star of the Premier League, Leao has been on the radar of elite clubs for a while, but Mbappe’s imminent exit perhaps makes PSG more likely than any English team to land him this summer.

The 24-year-old’s numbers do not come close to Mbappe’s obscene levels, but if PSG are going to go down the left-winger route with their replacement for the Frenchman, few players are more suited to the task than Leao.

The Portugal international would fit PSG’s new recruitment model which is centred around signing up-and-coming talents rather than the final product. Yet given he’ll likely cost upwards of £100m and Luis Enrique’s side are weaker up front than in wide areas, the French giants would be better off focusing their spending elsewhere.

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3) Mohamed Salah
The Liverpool icon has been one of their major disappointments as Jurgen Klopp’s side have collapsed during the run-in, with it appearing the winger – like his manager – has run out of steam and requires a break.

Having impressed against Tottenham, Salah already looks set to come good after being written off and he was near the peak of his powers before the African Cup of Nations (and his hamstring injury) disrupted his rhythm.

Salah is not your typical 31-year-old and he surely has two/years more years of competing at the top level up his sleeve. For this reason, it would be disheartening if he joined the Saudi Pro League as soon as this summer.

As much as age is only a number for players of Salah’s class, he has a shorter shelf life than other talents on this list so PSG are more likely to get value for money and a prolonged relationship with alternative targets.

📣 TO THE COMMENTS! Should Liverpool cash in on Salah this summer? Join the debate here.


2) Victor Osimhen
Now we’re talking…

As much as Mbappe is largely known for his ability on the flank, most of his appearances for PSG this term have been as a centre-forward. As mentioned above, they are far better stocked in the wing department than upfront and should really use the funds saved from getting their pricey trouble-causer off their wage bill to sign a new striker.

Several big-name strikers could be on the move this summer and of them, Osimhen (or Alexander Isak, maybe) is arguably the best available option given his proven pedigree domestically and in Europe.

Chelsea may shed a tear if Osimhen joins PSG as he’s expected to this summer and he’d be an excellent replacement for Mbappe, but who would be better?


1) Vinicius Junior
It’s difficult to imagine Mbappe being anything other than an immense success at Real Madrid. But a potential consequence of his arrival is the current crop of attackers becoming disillusioned at the Santiago Bernabeu if they slip down the pecking order.

Vinicius and Rodrygo have lit up the Champions League in recent years but the emergence of a new Galactico at Real Madrid could see one of those two being reduced to being a bit-part player.

The Brazil internationals are each brilliant in their own right. Yet with Vinicius being the superior player of the two, Rodrygo is more likely to leave Real Madrid in the coming windows if either opts for a fresh start.

But Vinicius (partly due to the sickening racist abuse he has been a victim of in Spain) is also being linked with a departure and if he ever did become a realistic for PSG, even if he cost a ludicrous fee, it would be a no-brainer to sign him.

He’s *not quite* at Mbappe’s level, but the 23-year-old comes pretty close and he would relish being the star man carrying PSG into their new era.