Lionel Messi is “ISOLATED” at PSG and the Ligue 1 giants remain “Kylian Mbappe’s team,” says Thierry Henry as he questions Mauricio Pochettino’s tactical use of signing superstars
Thierry Henry thinks Lionel Messi is too “isolated” at Paris Saint-Germain and that the Ligue 1 giants should do more to get the best of him.
Argentina superstar Messi signed for PSG as a free agent this summer after Barcelona’s financial woes prevented him from affording to keep him, but life in France started off a bit slow.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored three Champions League goals but has yet to open his Ligue 1 account in four national starts.
Thierry Henry thinks Lionel Messi is “too isolated” at PSG because of a wide game
Ex-Arsenal star said Messi doesn’t see the ball enough to influence PSG games
Henry, who played alongside Messi at Barcelona between 2007 and 2010, attributed the lack of goals to PSG’s need to host him alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
‘He [Messi] is isolated, he’s less on the ball, ”Henry told RMC Sport. “I wouldn’t say he’s sad, but he’s isolated. I prefer it in the middle.
“I’m having trouble with Leo on the right. In the middle, he can adjust the tempo.
“Something has to be found for Mbappe, Neymar and Messi to play together.”
Messi played with Henry (center) in Barcelona for three years, winning the Champions League
Henry believes Messi is suffocating at PSG
Henry has said that after more than a decade as a central Barcelona figure, Messi has to adapt to a team that was not designed around him, with Mbappe clearly being the focal point of PSG attacks.
“Messi doesn’t speak a lot, he speaks with the ball,” Henry continued.
“Right now it’s Kylian’s team. Kylian is the one who makes him shine the most. The ball goes more towards him.
“At any given time, there can only be one conductor, otherwise you can’t play at the same tempo. And in this team, there are too many conductors.
Mauricio Pochettino tended to deploy Messi to the right of the top three, with Mbappe in the middle and Neymar on the left.
Henry, however, suggested that confining Messi to a particular area of the pitch stifled his potential.
Messi opened his account for PSG with a superb goal in a 2-0 win over Manchester City
“I don’t think he can tell the difference on the right, but I don’t have the exact details from a tactical point of view,” added the former Arsenal and Barcelona star.
“Obviously, when you stay high and step out of the way, you won’t have an impact. Then you have fewer bullets going towards it.
Speaking earlier this month, Messi admitted he was taken aback by the physical level of Ligue 1.
But Henry said PSG are ‘clearly’ Kylian Mbappe’s team (left) and Messi has struggled to adjust
Messi is convinced that he, Neymar (right) and Mbappe will become a formidable line of attack
“Ligue 1 is a much more physical league than La Liga,” he told France Football.
“Here in Ligue 1, the teams seem more powerful to me. Most of the players are very strong.
He also allayed concerns that he might struggle to secure a partnership with Mbappe and Neymar, with whom he played for four seasons at Barcelona.
“I’m sure it will work out well,” Messi said. “With a player like Kylian it’s easy to get along. Plus, he speaks perfect Spanish.