Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Diaby learning from Neymar, Draxler at PSG

Publish on 02/03/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS


Paris Saint-Germain already have one of the world's best young players in Kylian Mbappé, and Moussa Diaby - a homegrown gem - has the potential to follow in his teammate's footsteps.

While Mbappé was born in the Paris region but fashioned at the AS Monaco youth academy, Diaby has been at PSG for seven years already. The 19-year-old has now become a bona fide first-team member with new coach Thomas Tuchel, making his Ligue 1 Conforama debut on the opening day of the 2018/19 season.

"At the start of the season, I had two or three meetings with the coach," Diaby told This is Paris on BeIN Sports. "I wanted to go out on loan, but we spoke, he didn’t want to let me go. He said he would give me playing time, that he had confidence in me. When the coach says that, that's very reassuring."

A formative loan spell at Italian side Crotone last season helped take Diaby to the brink of the PSG first team, but breaking into a side boasting the talents of Julian Draxler and Neymar Jr in the wide positions in attack where the teenager excels looked a sizeable task.

Having achieved that, Diaby, who has two goals and five assists in 17 top-flight appearances, now knows he needs to learn from his more experienced peers.

"I think I still need to improve my defensive game, and also going forward, I also need to work on my positioning between the lines," he said. "Players tell me I need to watch how Draxler and Neymar find space. I think they’re probably right. When I watch the matches and their positioning, their first touch, always playing forward. I try to do like they do, and I think that will help me in the future."