Transfer Talk: PSG eyeing a move for AC Milan winger Rafael Leao


AC Milan winger, Rafael Leao, is having an excellent season with 11 goals and six assists across all competitions, and rumors are circulating about interest from big clubs in Europe. One such club interested in the winger is Paris Saint-Germain.

Rafael Leao, 22, is into his third season with AC Milan, having joined from Ligue 1 club, Lille, in the summer of 2019. The Portuguese forward has shown a lot of potential in his first two seasons at the club, but only in flashes. However, he has improved and added more consistency to his game this season. He has been sensational this season, netting the ball 11 times and assisting six times in 33 appearances across all competitions. The Portuguese winger has been instrumental in AC Milan occupying the first spot in Serie A table with 66 points, with a three-point lead over rivals Inter Milan. Leao has been one of AC Milan’s best players over the past few seasons, joining the Italian giants in 2019, and since then, has scored 24 goals for the club.

Rafael Leao: 2021-22 UEFA Champions League stats analysis

The 22-year-old, who can operate centrally or on the left flank, is on six goals and four assists so far in Serie A. As seen in the above visual, Leao has primarily operated on the left flank for AC Milan in the Champions League. He is a huge threat with the ball at his feet as he is a brilliant dribbler and can get into threatening positions in the final third.

Rafael Leao: 2021-22 UEFA Champions League stats analysis

Leao is naturally a wide player, but can also operate down the middle in the number nine position, and such flexibility along with his pace, power, guile, and dribbling skills make him a perfect fit in Pochettino’s system at PSG. Leao has attempted only one shot on goal in his four appearances but has scored with his only shot on goal. He has 13.53 offensive duels per 90 minutes and has won 47.83% of the duels. The winger has attempted 36 dribbles in four matches in the Champions League and has been able to win  55.56% of these dribbles.

Rafael Leao: 2021-22 UEFA Champions League stats analysis

The above visual shows his pass map from the four games that he has played in the Champions League this season. As seen in the above visual, he has played a lot of short passes on the left flank, which are mostly one-two passes played to create space. He can play a quick one-two with his wing-back or midfielder and run into the space created on the flank. He also has put in several crosses in the penalty area, which has generated a high xT.

Whether Kylian Mbappé stays or goes, one thing is clear, Paris Saint-Germain needs to get younger at the attack. Lionel Messi and Neymar are in their 30s; meanwhile, Angel Di Maria appears heading towards a departure, and the capital club will look to offload Mauro Icardi.