Gianluigi Buffon will sit out Paris Saint-Germain’s next two games with Alphonse Areola returning in goal for the French champions, coach Thomas Tuchel confirmed on Friday.
Italian great Buffon, 40, has played in PSG’s three competitive outings so far this season since his arrival on a free transfer from Juventus, and has conceded only one goal in that time.
Areola, meanwhile, returned late from a post-World Cup holiday, having been part of France’s squad during their triumphant campaign in Russia.
The 25-year-old was PSG’s first-choice goalkeeper last season, and will now start against Angers in Ligue 1 on Saturday and next weekend at Nimes.
“Afterwards we will see. I do not like making long-term decisions,” Tuchel said at a press conference at PSG’s training ground.
“It is important that Alphonse plays. He played in May, and now he needs to play to adapt to the team.”
Areola did not play at the World Cup, sitting behind skipper Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda in the French pecking order.
“Gigi has been exceptional, magnificent in the last three matches. I don’t like taking him out of the team, but on the other hand, it is very important at this stage to give Alphonse the chance to play,” added Tuchel.
Central to Tuchel’s thinking is that Buffon will not be able to play in PSG’s first three Champions League group-stage matches as he serves a three-game ban carried over from last season, when he was still at Juve.
With the German Kevin Trapp seemingly not in contention, Areola needs to build up match fitness, especially with an international break following the trip to Nimes on September 1.
Marco Verratti and Layvin Kurzawa are still missing for PSG as they face Angers at the Parc des Princes on Saturday afternoon (1500 GMT).
However, Edinson Cavani has been hoping to make his first appearance since suffering a calf injury at the World Cup, while Thilo Kehrer could feature for the first time.
The young German defender signed on a five-year deal last week from Schalke 04 for a reported fee of 37 million euros ($42.3 million).