at just 16, Zaire-Emery already impresses everyone

Warren Zaire-Emery was especially noted on PSG’s Japan prep tour. The 16-year-old midfielder, considered the best hope of the Paris training center, dazzled the crowd with his maturity, his technical quality and his serenity on the pitch. Christophe Galtier is full of praise for the talented Montreuil, who recently signed his first professional contract.

His face beaded with sweat, he goes from one half court to the other in his red chasuble. Under the watchful eye of Christophe Galtier and his assistants, Warren Zaire-Emery alternately takes part in the two mini-contradictions organized on the lawn of the Rugby Stadium Chichibunomiya. In a joker role. This Monday, July 18, more than 13,000 euphoric spectators took their seats in the stands of the Aoyama district in the heart of Tokyo. The opportunity for them to applaud the PSG stars who came to perform their preparatory tour in Japan. And to discover this young midfielder, who goes around during training sessions open to the public.

In the humid heat of the Asian summer, Zaire-Emery impresses everyone. Japanese fans underline this. Journalists look at him speechless. From the height of his 16 years, the Montreuil native rolls out his football with a rather disconcerting ease in midfield. Together with Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé or Sergio Ramos, he stands out for the technical precision, serenity, perspective, endurance and intensity that he puts into his interventions. Watching him evolve to such a level, it’s hard to imagine that he will only be of age in two years.

“The greatest talent in the training center”

Behind the scenes, his session is also commented on with words of praise. But nobody really falls from the clouds. For several years Warren Zaire-Emery (who already appeared during the first summer test against Quevilly-Rouen Métropole) has been considered a real phenomenon at the Camp des Loges.

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

The Martinique diamond recently signed his first professional contract with PSG (15 July). Until 2025. A relief for the club in the capital, which had made it one of his priorities. It must be said that Zaire-Emery was courted by all the greatest in Europe. After taking the time to reflect, he chose to get involved in his favorite club, to which he is very attached. Meanwhile, Christophe Galtier has called him up for the Japanese tour. And his investment was rewarded with two friendly appearances against local clubs.

Galtier amazed by his “maturity”

The little gifted entered first half an hour from time against Kawasaki Frontale (2-1). Before establishing himself against the Urawa Red Diamonds alongside Marco Verratti (3-0). The time to confirm its enormous potential and to inflame the Parisian fans on the networks. Always in motion, precise in the transmissions, Zaire-Emery blended with the background with a disarming naturalness. Without ever giving the impression of panicking. With his size already very developed (1.78 m), he looks like an experienced player on the pitch. However, he was born a year after Leo Messi’s professional debut at Barça …

“Warren is surprisingly mature and insightful, Galtier summed up after his success against the Urawa Reds. He has the enormous privilege of being in contact with all these great players.” Great players also fascinated by the boy from Seine-Saint-Denis. “He has many qualities, Nuno Mendes confides to RMC Sport. I had already seen some of his games with the youngsters. He is very diligent. I think he has what it takes to continue with the first team., He has to give everything because he is the youngest of the locker rooms”.

Incubated by his father, a former Red Star player

A state that Warren knows well. Since his debut with crampons he has always evolved with people older than him, in order not to slow down his progress and sometimes prevent his teammates from slowing down, counting on his extraordinary talent. It was for the first time 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, former Red Star, then coach of the club based in 93. And he immediately dazzled the public.

“During a senior tournament in Trappes (Yvelines), I took Warren with me, says his father on the” Scouting “podcast produced by RMC Sport. He was playing with the ball sideways. At one point, I make a tough 30m pass and he pulls a drop from our chest like he’s working on it every day. We looked at each other and my cousin and we were like, ‘This isn’t bad.’ “

Warren Zaire-Emery
Warren Zaire-Emery © Icon

“He impressed all PSG educators”

A few years later, Warren joined the U8 section of PSG. And again, he gets noticed right away. “When you have high potential players, they don’t always know how to use their intrinsic qualities and they don’t make the right choices. They don’t have this maturity, testifies coach Abdou Fall, who had Zaire-Emery in U11 at Camp des Loges. He had a “Incredible reading and analysis of the game for his age. He always played very correctly. He impressed all the educators of the club.”

Doubly outclassed each year, Warren is described as a young man with an irreproachable mood (who rarely defies referee decisions), somewhat reserved but still a tenant. Passionate about football, he plays as soon as possible with his friends, in addition to training him. But on the other hand, he watches few matches on television. Last season he joined Zoumana Camara’s U19 group, with whom he played in the Youth League (defeat in the quarter-finals against Leipzig). Starting almost every match and scoring a goal against Bruges (during his only entry into play).

Spring U17 European Champion

Mauricio Pochettino and his staff also invited him to some training with the professionals. Under contract with Polaris Sport, he is represented by the structure of Jorge Mendes. The famous Portuguese agent, who notably manages Cristiano Ronaldo’s interests, has also traveled in person (while often sending intermediaries) to persuade the Zaire-Emery family to join him.

Last June Warren won Euro U17 in Israel with France. Alongside his clubmate El Chadaille Bitshiabu (one year older than him) and Mathys Tel, who has just been transferred from Stade Rennais to Bayern Munich (for almost 30 million euros). An important first title that requires others. After his promising summer, the 16-year-old midfielder is now waiting to see if Galtier will make his big professional debut this season.

Did you start as a pro this season?

With the 2022 World Cup scheduled for the end of the year in Qatar (from 21 November to 18 December), the window could open in the near future, when internationals have to breathe. It will undoubtedly also depend on the end of the transfer window and on any reinforcements that could arrive in its sector. “I want to integrate our best young players with us, it is also the will of the sports management and the presidency, so that they can thrive within their training company”, explained Galtier recently.

It remains to be seen whether Zaire-Emery will be in the group on Sunday to face Nantes in the Trophy of Champions in Tel Aviv (20:00). It is a possibility, even if he did not participate in the last game of the Japan tour against Gamba Osaka (6-2). Unless there’s a big deal, his time will come anyway, sooner or later. He is convinced of it. Like everyone who has seen him with a ball between his feet.

Alexandre Jaquin (with Arthur Perrot)

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