Thiago Silva, the PSG captain, has spoken out in defence of his teammates Kylian Mbappe and Neymar after they both came under fire in recent days.
Silva guided the team to a 5-0 win over Anderlecht in the Champions League during the week in a game that Mbappe started despite speculation that he would be used as a substitute.
Speaking after the match Silva said that both Mbappe and Neymar are being put under too much pressure by the media, “I think there is unnecessary pressure on Kylian. Neymar too, who is still only 25. He also suffers from this. We should not forget that Kylian is just 18 years old. Football can be like this. You cannot always reach your absolute best, even if you give your absolute maximum. Against Anderlecht, he [Mbappe] played very well.”
It was expected that coach Unai Emery would start Angel Di Maria in place of Mbappe after he assisted in two of the three goals scored by the team last Friday.
However, Emery stuck with Mbappe and Neymar and replaced Di Maria in the starting XI against Anderlecht. Di Maria was brought on as a substitute and replaced Mbappe after just over an hour. He then assisted Layvin Kurzawa’s third goal of the evening.
Speaking at a news conference Emery said, “I want to boost every player’s confidence and better, give them minutes on the pitch. Against Anderlecht, my decision focused on Kylian playing alongside Edinson [Cavani] and Neymar. There are other players who are doing well and have performed well lately, such as Angel.”
He said that he will need all his players in the coming busy period and said that he trusts everybody in the squad.
Di Maria may start in today’s game at Angers as Neymar picked up a small calf injury midweek.