PARIS, France, Sep 13 – Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says Paris Saint-Germain could struggle in Europe this season without the leadership of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The talismanic striker ended a successful four-year relationship with the Ligue 1 champions this summer when he chose to join Manchester United on a free transfer.
While PSG can still boast the likes of Edinson Cavani and Jese Rodriguez up front, Wenger believes the French club could struggle in the Champions League without the Swede.
‘They will continue to be the dominant team in France but they lost more than a player with Ibrahimovic,’ Wenger told Goal.
‘He was the leader, the captain, a charismatic carrier of the ambition of the club and it’s always difficult to measure – when you lose a player of that stature – how big the damage is.’
Arsenal face PSG in their opening Champions League match at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday evening.
Wenger will be confident of claiming at least a point against the French champions, who have started the season in uncharacteristically poor form.
New manager Unai Emery already finds himself under pressure with the Parisians floundering in seventh position in the Ligue 1 table.
But although PSG have failed to win either of their last two league games, Wenger expects Emery’s side to improve in the coming weeks.
‘At the moment they have also changed managers so they are trying to find their feet,’ he said.
Wenger also confirmed that Laurent Koscielny has returned to full fitness and is available for selection for the opening match of Group A, which also includes Swiss club Basel and Bulgarian club Ludogorets.