Salvatore Sirigu's Paris Saint-Germain hell is at an end after the Italy international joined Sevilla on a season-long loan deal -- without an option to buy -- on Friday. Just more than 12 months since Kevin Trapp arrived at Parc des Princes and took his place as starting goalkeeper, Sirigu has finally found a way out of the French capital and now has a chance to resurrect his career in Spain.
The 29-year-old's move to Seville brings an end to his five-year spell with Les Parisiens. Four of those five years were happy, and Sirigu was a popular player with the supporters and an influential figure in the dressing room, but his star faded in the past 12 months after some shabby treatment by PSG.
Instead of bringing in Trapp and letting the pair fight for the starting role with Nicolas Douchez -- the French champions' former third-choice goalkeeper who has now also left -- the German was made No. 1 by then-coach Laurent Blanc.
Sirigu was made Trapp's backup against his will and Douchez was demoted from his former substitute role to a reserve one, and basically kept on because of his experience and strong influence behind the scenes. The situation was uncomfortable for all three and although Trapp was starting most matches, he was put under immense pressure because of the problems created by PSG's poor handling of the Azzurri star and the veteran Frenchman.
With the return of Alphonse Areola from a successful loan spell with Villarreal, competition was bound to be even fiercer, and it quickly became obvious that Douchez and Sirigu played no part in new coach Unai Emery's plans.
The former was allowed to leave for RC Lens in Ligue 2, while the latter was told he could continue to look for a new club -- something he had been doing since last campaign. Sirigu, himself, requested to not be part of PSG's squad for the International Champions Cup in the U.S. and the club accepted.
True, Sirigu is not in the top bracket of goalkeepers in world football, but neither are Trapp and Areola -- yet. The Ligue 1 giants' treatment of the former Palermo man was poor and reflected badly on the club, who'd enjoyed a happy and successful relationship with the player since his arrival.
Sirigu has been a fantastic servant to PSG under Qatar Sports Investments' (QSI) leadership and he should be considered one of their best acquisitions to date, in terms of value for money. Costing a meagre €3.9 million from Palermo at the same time that the men from the capital were bringing Javier Pastore in from the Sicilians, the club thought that they were getting a talented goalkeeper to challenge the more experience Douchez -- also a new signing -- for the starting role.
Instead, Sirigu quickly unseated Douchez and went on to be PSG's No. 1 for four consecutive seasons, winning two Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year awards as well as being voted into Le Championnat's Team of the Year twice.
What followed, with the arrival of Trapp and a forgettable 2015-16 campaign, will have soured some of Sirigu's memories of Paris. The supporters should still remember him fondly, though; they remained loyal to him -- even if some could see Blanc's point that Trapp is better with the ball at his feet than Sirigu.
Once the German arrived from Eintracht Frankfurt, a surprise to Sirigu, PSG made it clear the Italian was not wanted anymore. However, the comfortable salary paid by the club made it economically impossible for almost every interested club to acquire him. According to L'Equipe, Sevilla only landed him because PSG are still paying the larger part (€1.9m) of his reported €3.4m annual wage.
He may not be off the books entirely but it was the right thing for the Ligue 1 champions to do after the 12 months they have unnecessarily put Sirigu through. It might only be a loan for now, but the chances are that the Italian will not be back with Trapp and Areola in place.
Now that he has been granted an end to his misery, PSG should be grateful to Sirigu for four excellent seasons of service and exemplary professionalism in his final term when things were not going the way he wanted them to.
In bocca al lupo, Salva!