One of the things that Paris Saint-Germain have lacked in recent years is balance, yet Idrissa Gueye proved on Wednesday that he is the player to bring such balance to the team with his machine-like display against Real Madrid.
Signed from Everton in the summer, Gueye was energetic at the Parc des Princes as he overran Los Blancos’ midfield.
“We fought a lot to buy this player, he’s a machine,” Thomas Tuchel explained in his post-match interview.
“He never stops running and he wins a lot of second balls.
“Against a team like Real Madrid, that’s super important.”
Over the course of a nightmare evening for Zinedine Zidane, Gueye recovered six loose balls and had a 93 percent pass success rate.
Nobody has been more thankful for Gueye’s arrival in Paris than Marco Verratti, with the Italian having been left so isolated in midfield in recent years.
“We needed him, he works a lot for the team,” Verratti admitted.
“He is always available and will help us a lot.”
Despite his advancing years, 30 million euros in the summer appears a reasonable price for a player who may well make the difference to PSG in the Champions League.
In the way Claude Makelele’s departure impacted Los Blancos negatively in 2003, Gueye’s arrival could gave the polar opposite impact in the French capital.