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French legend explains PSG star forward’s issues

Mauro Icardi, PSG
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The striker has struggled to live up to his impressive debut campaign after signing permanently for PSG last summer.

French legend Jean-Pierre Papin has suggested Mauro Icardi’s personality and dislike of competition are the key factors behind his struggles this season.

The 27-year-old has made just six appearances since completing a permanent €50m move to Paris Saint-Germain after an impressive loan spell. Injury problems and COVID-19 have greatly hampered him this season.

Having only scored on two occasions so far, despite tallying three goals in six games overall, Icardi has been called into question. Especially as a young Moise Kean, on loan from Everton, has impressed in his absence.

“When I watched him play for a year, I didn’t get the impression that he wanted to bring the house down. How is it possible?” former AC Milan and Bayern Munich star Papin told France Football.

“In his body language, I didn’t see the urge. From what I have seen of him, I have great doubts about his personality.

“I feel he doesn’t like competition. At Inter he was very impressive, but he was the undisputed star and captain. In Paris, he is a ‘normal’ star and is behind Neymar, Mbappe and a few others.”

The 1991 Ballon d’Or winner did, though, praise Icardi’s predatory instincts as a striker during the interview.

It’s also worth pointing out the former Inter Milan skipper scored a goal and supplied an assist in his first game under Mauricio Pochettino in PSG’s 3-0 win over Stade Brestois last weekend in Ligue 1.