Thomas Tuchel surprised by Neymar’s workload at PSG

BELGRADE, SERBIA - DECEMBER 11: Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain waves to the fans after the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Red Star Belgrade and Paris Saint-Germain at Rajko Mitic Stadium on December 11, 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel admits he’s been “surprised” by Neymar’s workload since returning from a major injury.

Neymar had been sidelined for nearly four months due to a metatarsal injury before returning for PSG’s 3-1 win over AS Monaco on April 21. The Brazilian star has since played the full 90 minutes in all of the club’s last three matches.

And Neymar reached a new milestone on Saturday by scoring his 50th goal for PSG during Saturday’s 1-1 draw against OGC Nice.

Ignatius Ganago had given Nice a surprise lead just after the break before Neymar reached the half-century mark by scoring a penalty in the 60th-minute.

The Parisians were denied victory at home when Nice goalkeeper Walter Benitez saved Edinson Cavani’s late penalty.

Nonetheless, Tuchel was full of praise for Neymar’s remarkable progress.

“He’s been injured since January,” said the PSG coach, via Goal.

“He’s just come back. I’m quite surprised because he played 120 minutes against Rennes and 90 minutes against Montpellier.

“He played a full game today too and unfortunately, he couldn’t score that second goal. It’s a pity but he’s doing well, and all dangerous play come from Neymar.”

“Neymar needs to play high on the pitch because that’s how he’s the most dangerous.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12: Kylian Mbappe of PSG celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford on February 12, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

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The world’s most expensive player has managed 21 goals and 12 assists in 26 games during Tuchel’s debut campaign.

On how he plans to use him, the German said: “Our goal and task is to find Neymar between the lines, high on the pitch.

“He shouldn’t have to play deep to get the ball. That’s why he was defending like a second striker. When he plays that high it’s his favourite position.

“That’s how he can be the more dangerous in my opinion because he has someone on the left. He can assist and make the difference.”

PSG, who have only won once in their last seven games, will now take a trip to Angers next Saturday.

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