When Argentine international Javier Pastore signed for Paris Saint Germain in 2011 for a fee of nearly €40m from Palermo, his signature was heralded by the club’s new Qatari owners as a signal of real intent for the years to come.
Two years later, and following only their third league title in the club’s short history, not to mention the high-profile additions of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani, and a run to the quarter-finals of the Champions League to boot, and it’s fair to say the Qatari investors have delivered on their promise so far.
Unfortunately for Pastore, however, his influence on the side has gradually diminished as their success has grown. His 13-goal debut season return was followed by only four goals last term, while this season he’s found himself out of the side as boss Laurent Blanc struggles to fit in a player who he claims is suffering from a crisis of confidence.
Pastore has featured in just seven of PSG’s nine games this season, starting only five of them and being substituted in three.
Blanc’s rotation policy will ensure Pastore gets some games under his belt, such as their 1-0 away win at second-bottom Valenciennes in midweek, but Pastore could well be among those looking for a winter move should he no longer be considered a first team fixture every week.
Should he become available, there won’t be a shortage of offers. With the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Juan Mata, Oscar, Santi Cazorla and now Mesut Ozil, the Premier League has never boasted such a wealth of the sort of attacking midfielders often referred to as “number tens”, regardless of their chosen shirt number.
On top form, Pastore fits the bill perfectly, and depending on the situation of those players listed above, the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and even Manchester United will no doubt be keeping an eye on the situation.
Currently, with chief creator Coutinho out of action, Liverpool are believed to be keen on recruiting some genuine competition for the Brazilian when he returns, while Pastore could represent a direct replacement at Stamford Bridge for the unfancied Mata.
And with Shinji Kagawa not appearing to be David Moyes’ cup of tea, Pastore could well add Old Trafford to his list of potential destinations in January.