11, February 2019
Champions League: Choupo-Moting swapped the Championship for PSG… now he could lead the line against Man Utd 0
When Stoke City got relegated from the Premier League less than 12 months ago, few could have expected one of their transfer flops to be leading the line against Manchester United in the Champions League this week.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored just five goals in 32 games for the Potters – ironically, two came in a 2-2 draw against Manchester United – and was a major disappointment after his move from Schalke 04.
The Stoke misfit saw his contract cancelled by mutual consent when they dropped out of the top flight and, to the surprise of many, he landed on his feet with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Cameroon international has had a limited role in the French capital but is clearly relishing being part of one of Europe’s top clubs.
Now, he’s been thrust to the forefront of their bid for Champions League glory and could lead the line in their last-16 first leg against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
The powerful 29-year-old made his Bundesliga breakthrough with Hamburg as a teenager and made 10 appearances for Germany up to Under 21 level, scoring eight goals.
In May 2010, however, he received a senior call-up by Cameroon, the country of his father’s birth, ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
Despite once coming under an investigation into his international eligibility, Choupo-Moting has won 48 caps for Cameroon and scored 14 goals.
The striker spent three years at Mainz 05 from 2011 to 2014 before making his way to Schalke 04 for a three-season stint.
His form earned him his Premier League move to Stoke City, although he could not build on a bright start as the Potters were relegated and he was sidelined from March onwards by a groin injury.
The big-name superstars of PSG have limited him to an impact sub role, but he started against Bordeuax at the weekend and is now primed to feature at Old Trafford given Neymar and Edison Cavani are ruled out.
Choupo-Moting recently spoke about the challenge of facing a “changed” Manchester United as he expects a tough clash.
He told RMC : “Manchester United, they have changed. But it’s always like that when you change coaches.
“There may be a new state of mind in the team, everyone wants to show their best.
“But I do not care about other teams, we have to think about ourselves, we believe in ourselves.
“We have the quality to beat anyone but it will be a tough match because Manchester United are a very good team with great quality players.”