There was a lot of hype surrounding the arrival of Lionel Messi in Paris this summer, when he left FC Barcelona to join Paris Saint-Germain. Expectations were through the roof, but half a year later, the Argentine has not exactly been as impressive with his new club as fans had initially expected.
To be fair, it is not just Messi himself that has been underwhelming. The formidable attacking trident that he was supposed to form alongside Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappe has not delivered the barrage of goals as expected. This is due in part to the fact that the said trident has not even been complete most of the time.
Messi has been spending several weeks dealing with injuries on and off this season, while Neymar is out due to a long-term injury that may not see him back in action until February or even March 2022.
Personally, Messi's stats have been at its worst this season compared to the many successful years he spent with Barcelona. He has already player 865 minutes in Ligue 1, but has only scored the lone goal. That's a drop in form even compared to his debut season with the Catalan giants.
The Argentine's Champions League stats have been much better, however, with five goals already in the bag from the group stage matches alone. The 34-year-old has been turning it up for the European games, and it remains to be seen how well he will do when PSG face Real Madrid in the last-16.
Despite his lack of goals in Ligue 1, one could say that he has made a more intangible impact on the pitch. He has five assists under his belt already, and his impact on the club has been harder to measure outside of simply just the goals.
Messi has also been travelling extensively since the summer, as he navigates international duty on top of his club career. Speculations have come out about tensions between the club and the national team, but all parties appear to be willing to work together.
The 2021-22 season is only at its midpoint, and a lot can still change in the second half of the season. PSG is still in a good position to bring home a number of trophies this season, and with Messi adapting to life in Paris more in the next few months, there is a good chance that he will be able to play a bigger role soon.