at just 16 years old, Zaire-Emery has impressed everyone

Warren Zaire-Emery has been particularly noticeable during PSG’s preparations in Japan. The 16-year-old midfielder, who is considered the best hope in the Paris training center, has impressed the audience with his maturity, his technical quality and his calmness on the pitch. Christophe Galtier is full of praise for the talented Montreuil, who recently signed his first professional contract.

His face was covered with sweat, going from one middle court to another with his red chasuble. Under the watchful eye of Christophe Galtier and his assistants, Warren Zaire-Emery took turns taking part in two mini-opposes organized on the lawn of the Rugby Stadium Chichibunomiya. In the role of the joker. This Monday, July 18, more than 13,000 euphoric spectators took their place in the stands in the Aoyama district, in the center of Tokyo. The opportunity for them to admire the stars of PSG who came to make their preparatory tour in Japan. And to know this young midfielder, who walks around during training open to the public.

In the humid heat of the Asian summer, Zaire-Emery impressed everyone. Japanese fans pointed it out. The reporters looked at him speechless. From the height of his 16 years, the native of Montreuil opened his football with a surprising ease in the midfield. Along with Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé or Sergio Ramos, he stands out for his technical precision, his calmness, his vision, his perseverance and the intensity he puts into his interventions. Watching him evolve to such a degree, it’s hard to imagine that he’ll only age in two years.

“The biggest talent in the training center”

Behind the scenes, his session was also commented on with words of praise. But nothing ever fell from the cloud. For several years, Warren Zaire-Emery (already featured in the first test of the summer against Quevilly-Rouen Métropole) was considered a real phenomenon at the Camp des Loges.

“For me, he is the biggest talent in the PSG training center at the moment, explained our consultant Mathieu Bodmer in the spring. He doesn’t have many mistakes. He plays with maturity and personality. At his age, there are very few players that it can be done.”

The Martinican-born diamond just signed his first professional contract with PSG (July 15). Until 2025. A relief for the capital club, which makes it one of the priority issues. It must be said that Zaire-Emery is being courted by all the biggest in Europe. After taking some time to reflect, he chose to join his favorite club, where he was deeply attached. In the process, Christophe Galtier called him for a Japanese tour. And his investment was rewarded with two appearances in friendlies against local clubs.

Galtier marvels at his “maturity”

The little gift first entered half an hour from the end against Kawasaki Frontale (2-1). Before being established against Urawa Red Diamonds with Marco Verratti (3-0). The time to confirm its great potential and to ignite the supporters of Paris in the networks. Always on the move, precise in his transmissions, Zaire-Emery blends into the background with a natural disarmament. Without giving the impression of panic. With his highly developed stature (1.78m), he looks like an experienced player on the field. However, he was born a year after Leo Messi’s professional debut at Barça…

“Warren is amazingly mature and clear-sighted, summarized Galtier after the success against Urawa Reds. He has the great privilege to be in contact with all the great players.” Good players who, again, are under the spell of the kid from Seine-Saint-Denis. “He has many qualities, trust Nuno Mendes at RMC Sport. I have seen some of his youth matches. He is very hardworking. I think he has what it takes to continue in the first team. , he has to give everything because he’s the youngest in the locker room.”

Incubated by his father, a former Red Star player

A situation Warren knows all too well. Since his debut in crampons, he has always evolved with people who are older than him, so that his progress does not slow down and sometimes prevents his teammates from slowing down by counting on his unique talent. It was first at FCM Aubervilliers (north of Paris) that he signed his first license at the age of 4 and a half. Under the protective eye of his father Franck, a former player of Red Star, then coach of the club based in 93. And immediately he attracted the audience.

“During a senior tournament in Trappes (Yvelines), I took Warren, said his father in the podcast “Scouting” produced by RMC Sport. He played with his ball on the side. At one point, made I’m a tough 30m pass and he pulls a drop shot from our chest like he works on it every day. My cousin and I looked at each other and we said, ‘That’s not all bad’.”

Warren Zaire-Emery
Warren Zaire-Emery © Icon

“He impressed all the teachers at PSG”

A few years later, Warren joined the U8 section of PSG. And there again, it was quickly noticed. “When you have players with high potential, they don’t know how to use their intrinsic qualities all the time and don’t make the right choices. They don’t have this maturity, confirmed the trainer that Abdou Fall, with Zaire -Emery in the U11 at the Camp des Loges. He has an amazing reading and analysis of the game for his age. He plays fair all the time. It impresses all the teachers of the club.”

Double outclassed every year, Warren is described as a young man with an irreproachable state of mind (who rarely challenges refereeing decisions), a bit reserved but a lodger. Football fan, he plays as soon as possible with his friends, in addition to his training. But on the other hand, he watches some meetings on television. Last season, he joined the U19 group coached by Zoumana Camara, with whom he played in the Youth League (quarter-finals defeat against Leipzig). By starting almost every game and scoring a goal against Bruges (during his only entry into the game).

Spring European U17 Champion

Mauricio Pochettino and his staff also invited him to some training sessions with the pros. Under the contract of Polaris Sport, he is represented by the structure of Jorge Mendes. The famous Portuguese agent, who mainly manages the interests of Cristiano Ronaldo, also traveled personally (as he often sends mediators) to convince the Zaire-Emery family to join him.

Last June, Warren won the Euro U17 in Israel with the French team. With his club mate El Chadaille Bitshiabu (one year his senior) and Mathys Tel, who was recently transferred from Stade Rennais to Bayern Munich (almost 30 million euros). A first major title that calls out to others. After his promising summer, the 16-year-old midfielder is now waiting to see if Galtier will give him his big professional debut this season.

Starting out as a pro this season?

With the 2022 World Cup scheduled for the end of the year in Qatar (from November 21 to December 18), the window may open in the near future, when internationals need a breather. Undoubtedly it will also depend on the end of the transfer window and any reinforcements that may arrive in his sector. “I want to integrate our best young people with us, this is also the will of the sports management and the leadership, so that they develop within their training club”, recently explained Galtier .

It remains to be seen whether Zaire-Emery will be in Sunday’s group to face Nantes in the Champions Trophy in Tel Aviv (8 pm). This is a possibility, even if he did not participate in the last game of the tour of Japan against Gamba Osaka (6-2). Unless there is a big problem, his time will come, sooner or later. He was convinced of this. Like everyone saw him with the ball between his feet.

Alexandre Jaquin (with Arthur Perrot)

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