Is French Star Warren Zaïre-Emery the Next Great Midfielder?

France has a habit of producing the best young players in the world, especially over the past few decades. The French national team is one of the deepest in the sport, with players capable of starring for other nations’ first teams. One of the latest talents to emerge from the French youth system is Warren Zaïre-Emery. Below is our profile of the midfielder, who may take Euro 2024 by storm.

First Team Breakthrough at Paris Saint-Germain

When a youngster comes through the academy at Paris Saint-Germain, or PSG, they are only sometimes given an easy route to the first team. Many young players find that even if the club spends big money to secure their signature, they are not always the first choice in the eyes of the coach.

Fans who regularly check soccer betting odds will know that PSG are usually favorites in their Ligue 1 matches, as they have an imposing squad with world-class players. Even a talented youngster would find breaking through in such a group difficult.

Zaïre-Emery is an exception, as he has shown talent for the sport. The midfielder broke into the PSG team at the start of the 2022-2023 season, playing in August to become the team’s youngest-ever player.

While he is only 17, Zaïre-Emery is already a firm favorite of the fans and the coach Luis Enrique. He does not start every game, as the club wants to ease him into senior football, but he plays the most important games.

What Are Zaïre-Emery’s Strengths?

When you find a midfielder with the quality of Zaïre-Emery, the goal is to get him involved in the play as much as possible. He is one of those rare players equally adept at being offensive or defensive.

While he does not score in the high percentiles for tackles and interceptions as a midfielder, his role dictates that he spends more time in attacking positions. When asked to play deeper, Zaïre-Emery has no issues handling such assignments.

The one area where he truly shines is in passing, as he is among the 98th percentile for midfielders in Ligue 1 for passing percentage. He simply does not give the ball away, even when pressed. He regularly completes over 90 percent of his game passes, managing 61 attempts per 90 minutes.

Zaïre-Emery’s Weaknesses

There are a few areas where PSG will be hoping that Zaïre-Emery can improve in the coming years. While he does have an eye for goal, he does not attempt as many shots as the fans would expect. He is in the 22nd percentile for shots a midfielder tried, making him highly shot-shy.

PSG will want Zaïre-Emery to take more shots because he is such an excellent converter of chances. Despite taking only 0.64 shots per 90 minutes, he does manage to get 0.14 non-penalty goals per 90 minutes. The goals stat is in the 80th percentile for his position.

Getting Into the France Squad

While Zaïre-Emery is an outstanding talent, his shining at Euro 2024 does appear a little unlikely. He is on the periphery of the France squad under coach Didier Deschamps, who has always preferred to play his more senior professionals.

While Deschamps may give Zaïre-Emery a chance in upcoming squads, he will have a tough choice when picking his final roster for Euro 2024 in the summer. Zaïre-Emery will need an impressive end to the club season.

The Sky’s the Limit for Zaïre-Emery

There is no denying the talent of Warren Zaïre-Emery at PSG and the international level. He is among the brightest sparks of the PSG midfield, even at 17. While he does have an eye for goal and a sharp pass, he does lack physically compared to more senior professionals. How he develops in the coming years will determine whether we speak about a talent that did not fulfill his potential or one of the best players to emerge in the sport in recent years. Zaïre-Emery can go all the way and become a Ballon d’Or winner if he works hard, continues developing his game, and stays at a club where he plays regularly.

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