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“There will be a very big change” – Angel Di Maria says Lionel Messi ‘will be much better’ at PSG next season without Pochettino

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) winner Angel Di Maria believes Lionel Messi will improve next season upon Mauricio Pochettino’s departure from the Parc des Princes.

Messi endured an underwhelming 2021-22 season for the Parisians, scoring just 11 goals in 34 matches across all competitions. The Argentine did lay out 15 assists, but drew plenty of criticism for his inability to contribute to goals on a regular basis.

Di Maria, who has been playing alongside Lionel Messi for La Albiceleste for quite some time now, believes his compatriot will enjoy more success next season. The winger, who is set to depart PSG this summer upon the expiry of his contract, told TyC Sports (as quoted by GOAL):

“It seems like they also want [Pochettino] to leave. There will be a very big change, but I think Messi can handle it.”

Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano reported earlier this month that the Parisians are set to announce the departure of both Pochettino and sporting director Leonardo. Luis Campos is set to join the club in the latter’s stead and the club will then look for a new manager.

Di Maria believes the changes at the Parc des Princes could help Messi improve his numbers in the 2022-23 club season. He continued:

“It will help him to be much better next season. I think he will start very well because he ended up contributing goals, giving assists, feeling very comfortable and adapting more and more [late this past season].”

PSG’s Lionel Messi has been in stellar form for Argentina

While Lionel Messi undoubtedly struggled in his first season with PSG, he has been excellent for Argentina. La Albiceleste have won both their matches since the conclusion of the club season, with Messi a major contributor in both victories.

The 34-year-old laid out two assists as Lionel Scaloni’s side defeated UEFA Euro 2020 winners Italy in La Finalissima. The 3-0 win gave Messi his second title with Argentina following their Copa America success last summer.

The Argentine skipper took things up a notch in their next match, netting all five goals in his side’s hammering of Estonia. It was the second time Messi scored five goals in a match, more than 10 years after the first instance. He struck five times for Barcelona in their 7-1 thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen in the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League.

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