Thomas Meunier has been growing into his PSG role since he arrived at the club in July 2016. PSG signing the right back from Club Brugge wasn’t seen as a big transfer, and it was expected Meunier would very much be a squad player, not seen on the pitch very often.
PSG’s interest was a surprise in Belgium, it wasn’t a shock that Meunier left Club Brugge, but to go to a top Champions League level club, and to big-spenders PSG, was a bigger step than had been expected.
Meunier himself has revealed, speaking to Belgian magazine SportFoot, that Aston Villa tried to sign him the same summer. Not only that, Villa offered more money than what was on the table from PSG.
“I received more financially interesting proposals from other clubs, especially from England, but that was not my priority. Even Aston Villa, who had gone to the Championship, was more generous than the Paris club.
“When my agent told me that the PSG had entered the dance, I told him to forget the other offers. I called my mother, my girlfriend, who was 100% with me. It was Paris anyway! This transfer went beyond the purely sporting framework because it was the possibility to settle in a mythical city, with all that that entails.”
Meunier’s contract with PSG runs until June 2020 and he certainly deserves a new one if he’s still on less money than Aston Villa were willing to pay.
The Belgian’s career could have turned out very differently indeed. Aston Villa and a continual battle to climb up the Champions table, or PSG, Neymar, being linked to other big clubs, and a World Cup on the horizon.
Them’s the breaks.