Layvin Kurzawa’s season could hardly have started any better.
Kurzawa scored the winning goal in the Ligue 1 opener for Paris Saint-Germain against Bastia, and grabbed another one in the 3-1 home win against newly-promoted club Metz as well as staring for Les Bleus in the recent 3-1 win against Italy as Kurzawa assisted Olivier Giroud and scored a goal for himself.
The start that the 23-year-old has had to a campaign is one that most only dream about, but it seems that this could be the season where Kurzawa really breaks out and becomes one of the games best left-backs.
Since arriving in the French capital in 2015 for a hefty fee (roughly £21M) from Monaco, Kurzawa spent time last season behind Maxwell in the pecking order as PSG boss Laurent Blanc felt that the Brazilian was a lot more secure defensively than Kurzawa.
Whilst Maxwell performed well as has been his exceptionally high standard of performance throughout his career, many felt that Kurzawa was the future in his position for both Paris Saint-Germain and the French national team.
Under Unai Emery, Kurzawa has been one of the stars of the start of the season, and the new PSG boss has clearly so far been justified in putting a large amount of faith into the left back. With exception of the 3-1 away defeat against Monaco, Kurzawa has been vital to the PSG victories so far, and has proven his worth in the new-look Parisien side.
Emery has trusted Kurzawa to attack with intent, and in the new-look 4-2-3-1 formation that the Spaniard has introduced, the formation allows Kurzawa to attack knowing one of the two defensive midfielders should be able to cover for the left-back.
For PSG, Kurzawa has established himself as the new first choice left-back, and he has proven that he is able to be a threat from deep and become a key player for Unai Emery, but it is now at international level where Kurzawa needs to impress.
If there was ever a time for Kurzawa to force himself into the first team of Les Bleus, it is now. Patrice Evra looks as if he is being moved away from the national team and looks as if he will lose his place in the Juventus first team too.
Lucas Digne, who is seen as Kurzawa’s direct rival for the left-back position, could be benched at Barcelona as he is seen as the suitable, but secondary option to Jordi Alba if he gets injured.
Digne is a suitable replacement for the Spaniard, but nevertheless Digne will not be starting nearly as many games as Kurzawa will, meaning that the PSG man has the edge over the former Roma man.
Didier Deschamps will be looking to bleed in some young blood after Euro 2016, when the age of the defence was always a serious concern for many.
Players like Raphael Varane, Sebastien Corchia and Djibril Sidibe are set to get more chances in the national team, and that includes Kurzawa being the first choice ahead of Digne and the aging Patrice Evra.
Having spent a season learning from one of the top left backs for the past few years in Maxwell, Kurzawa will have to set himself some targets for the future. Yes, he has started the season extremely well, but he needs to prepare for a dip in form (if it ever comes, that is) and how to combat it.
Kurzawa will want to not only be the best French left back, not only the best left back in France and Ligue 1, but the 23-year-old will feel and believe that he can become the best left back in Europe.
Does Layvin Kurzawa have the potential to be the best left back in France and the best French left back? Of course, as his form in recent games has shown has all the hallmarks of a modern day left back, but Kurzawa needs to make sure that he remains concentrated on what matters: that his form continues prosper and that the month of August was not just a flash in the pan.
Sure, in the new wave of youth that could be taking over the defence of the French national team, Kurzawa holds all the cards to be a star for Didier Deschamps’ side but the French boss does not take lightly to off-pitch misdemeanours.
Kurzawa has all the chances to make this a season to remember, with Maxwell no longer first choice for PSG, Lucas Digne void of game time at Barcelona and Patrice Evra’s days as first choice for France becoming extremely numbered.
It’s up to Layvin Kurzawa to step out of the shadows and dominate the left back position for France and Paris Saint-Germain.