FRANCE: Portugal striker Ramos offers glimpse of life after Mbappe at PSG

“It’s simple, sooner or later, we will have to learn to play without Kylian Mbappé,” was a recent declaration by Paris Saint-Germain manager Luis Enrique, who has begun the process by gradually lessening the involvement of the club’s star player.

Mbappé is expected to join Real Madrid at the end of the season upon the expiration of his contract. As the post-Mbappé era draws closer, Gonçalo Ramos has found goalscoring form at the right time at the Parc des Princes, offering a glimpse into the team’s future beyond this season.

Ramos was a high-profile signing by PSG in the summer, joining from Benfica on an initial loan deal with a mandatory purchase clause which was exercised in November for around €65m plus bonuses. Arriving alongside fellow new striker recruit Randal Kolo Muani, the Portuguese found himself amid strong competition for places and goals were hard to come by initially.

Ramos scored in just one of his first 15 appearances for the French champions, getting two in a 4-0 win over fierce rivals Marseille. However, things have improved massively for the Seleção man in front of goal since the turn of the year and he is now PSG’s second-highest goalscorer in all competitions after Mbappe.

With six goals in 2024, Ramos has found the net on average roughly every 76 minutes since the new calendar year began. His latest came in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Reims, with the Portuguese showing typically sharp reactions inside the box to prod home with his left foot to put PSG 2-1 ahead in the first half.

While Ramos may lack the dynamism of some of PSG’s other attacking players, his increasing reliability as a penalty-box marksman is seeing the Portuguese regarded as one of the men capable of carrying the team forward when Mbappe leaves. “He is a top striker like Kolo Muani,” Luis Enrique said after the draw with Reims. “I’m very happy with both, I hope they are the present and the future of the club.”

Fellow Portuguese Danilo Pereira was also asked about the improvements made by his countryman. Speaking in the mixed zone after the final whistle, Danilo said: “It wasn’t easy for him, he didn’t play often, there’s a lot of competition in attack. But when he plays he gives his all, now with goals it also gives him confidence.”

By @SeanGillen9