At just 17 years of age, Warren Zaire-Emery may be set to earn his first selection for the Blues this Saturday against Gibraltar. The culmination of a flawless trajectory of a gifted man who managed to seduce all the coaches who had him under their command.
In Milan, on November 8, just before PSG’s Champions League match, for which Warren Zaire Emery was again a starter, his father Franck was, like all football observers: amazed by his son’s progress.
“He still surprises me, and I hope he will surprise me again. He is doing the right thing, let him continue like this,” he confided to RMC Sport.
If many had predicted a bright future for the young Parisian midfielder, no one could have imagined such rapid progress. Just over a year ago, Warren discovered Zaire-Emery Ligue 1 with PSG, launched by Christophe Galtier during a match against Clermont, on August 6, 2022. He has already broken records, becoming the youngest player in the history of the capital. club to set foot on the L1 fields.
Fourteen months later, here he is, an undisputed starter in the Parisian midfield, captain of the Espoirs and now called up to the A’s. In just three months, Parisian Titi has seduced Luis Enrique, Thierry Henry and now Didier Deschamps.
Very early start in Aubervilliers
But Warren Zaire-Emery has always done everything faster than the others. From the age of 4.5, he accompanied his father, an educator at FCMA (Football Club Municipal d’Aubervilliers) and was quickly noticed. Before he was old enough to have a license, he was taken in by the club. “He had something that others do not have,” confides Zizek Belkebla, his educator from the very beginning.
“Knowing how to position yourself on a field, being attentive to the game, to your positioning. Something innate but already very attentive for your age,” he explains.
Above the rest
He was not the biggest, not the fastest, far from the power he exudes today, but he already stood out for what made him great: his calmness and maturity. Above the fray, he is quickly outclassed. Zizek Belkebla lets him play with children one or two years older than him to help him progress. “In his consciousness, in the game, he already had instinct and intelligence. He did not have to repeat an exercise to understand it. He applied with serenity what was asked of him. He received a donation.”
He ensured that his team won matches quickly and was often voted the best player in tournaments. But the FCMA soon became too small and at the age of 8 he was spotted during a detection by Paris Saint-Germain. Young Warren passes the ring road and flies towards the club in the capital. However, such a destination is impossible to imagine at this moment, at PSG and in the squad, less than a decade later.
Upgraded to PSG
The capital club then has a gold nugget and will polish it for a number of seasons. The goal for Abdou Fall, former trainer at PSG, pedagogue of Warren Zaire-Emery in U11, is already to challenge him and prepare him for the high level, he tells RMC Sport. “We first identify the areas for improvement, the strong qualities of the boy. And we help him to go further, to take him to a very high level. The idea was to put him with older players to get him into trouble , take him to the next level.” Resolving problems. By letting him play with older players, we could see what his limit was.”
And the young boy’s limit seems difficult to reach. The midfielder was outclassed during his formative years at Paris Saint-Germain. At the age of 14 he took part in tournaments with the U16s, at the age of 15 he was one of the managers of the U19 team and before celebrating his sixteenth birthday he joined the professional group for the first time, after which he was trained by Mauricio Pochettino.
Warren Zaire Emery also does everything faster than the others in the French team. In 2022, he won the U17 European Championship at the age of 16, making him the youngest player in the selection.
A staggering progress
But it is over the past twelve months that the midfielder’s progress has been most impressive. He therefore joined the Parisian professional group and won his first French championship title at the age of 17. And rose in the youth categories of the French team. Six games in U18, six games in U19, and he has already been called up to the U20, on the first list of Thierry Henry, who immediately made him captain. Even though he is four years younger than some of his teammates.
“I wanted to know if he was ready,” explains the 98-year-old world champion.
“He was on the field, but I wanted to see him in the dressing room. We got a lot of answers. We know very well what he has in his feet, we wanted to see what it was like in his head.” Constantly challenged, Warren Zaire-Emery has always responded. The stakes of the matches he plays do not seem to affect him. He is even taking more and more initiatives, with his first goals in Ligue 1 and the status of best passer in the Champions League. His father Franck confirms it: he has no stress.
‘I think it’s slipping away from him. I’ve never really seen him feel pressure. Maybe he does have it and he knows how to hide it very well.’
On the way to a new record
Talented and hardworking, the young man seduces all the coaches he meets. And Didier Deschamps is no exception. “He is here with us because he has all the qualities to perform at a very high level. What he can achieve with his club at his age already shows enormous potential and confirmed maturity. He is a candidate for the next European Championship. ” “
The Parisian therefore joined Château de Clairefontaine this week and integrated without making waves, taking part in his first training sessions. He could become the youngest France international since 1911 when he starts against Gibraltar in Nice on Saturday or in Greece next Tuesday.