Warren Zaïre-Emery, PSG
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One to watch: Warren Zaïre-Emery, PSG's latest gem

One to watch: Warren Zaïre-Emery, PSG's latest gem

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Publish on 08/22 at 12:56 - S. TELFORD

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Warren Zaïre-Emery became Paris Saint-Germain's youngest ever debutant in their opening day 5-0 win over Clermont Foot 63, but what else is there to know about the nascent midfielder?

PSG have one of the best youth academies in world football, with Kingsley Coman and Christopher Nkunku among the recent graduates who have gone on to flourish at senior level somewhere else.

 

Club president Nasser al-Khelaïfi wants to see more players from the local area go on to first-team action at the Parc des Princes, though, and it would appear that Zaïre-Emery is the first in line.

 

Back story:

 

Zaïre-Emery was born in Montreuil in the eastern suburbs of Paris on 8 March 2006, the son of former Red Star FC midfielder Franck Emery, who later played for FCM Aubervilliers.

 

The four-year-old Warren was allowed to join Aubervilliers on the proviso that he could tie his own shoelaces - he could - and he has been performing ahead of the curve ever since.

 

PSG picked him up at eight years old. By nine he was playing with the under-11s and he was only 15 when he was first promoted to Zoumana Camara's under-19 squad last season.

 

Zaïre-Emery scored twice at this summer's UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Israel on France's way to the title, and was the only player in their team born in 2006.

 

Warren Zaïre-Emery, PSG

 

Style of play:

 

A defensive midfielder, Zaïre-Emery has a reading of the game well beyond his years.

 

He has the speed, anticipation and close control to break up opposition attacks with ease, but also the ball carrying ability and distribution to allow the team to then transition seamlessly from defence to attack.

 

The youngster was first promoted to PSG's under-19s to - perhaps paradoxically - allow his younger teammates to flourish.

 

"I had to remind the other players that Warren wasn't the firefighter on duty," said Bafodé Diakité, his coach prior to Camara, at the time.

 

Current campaign:

 

Zaïre-Emery was promoted to first-team training by Mauricio Pochettino last season, a decision that has been extended by the Argentine's successor as coach, Christophe Galtier.

 

The midfielder featured in pre-season wins over US Quevilly-Rouen and Urawa Red Diamonds, before replacing Marco Verratti for the final eight minutes of PSG's opening day win over Clermont.

 

Aged 16 years, four months and 30 days of age, he became the youngest player ever to make their competitive debut for the capital club, overtaking his former academy teammate El Chadaille Bitshiabu.


What they said:

 

"There was real joy, I was happy. I gave my all, and I always give my best. It's a childhood dream. Everyone dreams of playing with players like this. I hope there will be other opportunities."

 

- Zaïre-Emery after his Ligue 1 Uber Eats debut.

 

"The term phenomenon applies to Warren. If you watch one of his matches without knowing his age, it would be impossible to know that he's the youngest player on the pitch."

 

- L'Equipe journalist Loïc Tanzi is a fan.

 

"He's more mature than Xavi Simons and Édouard Michut, who sometimes play with the pros."

 

- Former PSG midfielder Mathieu Bodmer on seeing Zaïre-Emery last season.