Former Paris Saint-Germain youth product, Youssouf Mulumbu, recently spoke with Foot Mercato about his career, which started within PSG’s academy before having a brief stint with the senior team where he made 13 appearances.
The 31-year-old described what it was like being a young player climbing up the ranks at PSG in 2006, well before the club was purchased by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011.
However, despite the influx of money and star players, Mulumbu goes on to say that making to the capital club’s senior squad was difficult back then, too. Furthermore, the midfielder goes on to reflect on his time spent in PSG’s youth system.
Mulumbu remembers the young player in his youth squad who impressed him the most and which one, unfortunately, could’ve had a better career from that team. Then the French media outlet brings up the question as to which player on the senior squad wowed him during his short time with the club.
This piece won’t include the entire interview but will consist of all PSG centric questions and answers. We encourage you to read the full interview here.
FM: You signed pro at PSG in 2006 at the age of 19, but you were then loaned to Amiens then left for France in 2009. Why this choice?
YM: Unfortunately, with Guy Lacombe, the results are not enough, and the PSG decides to separate from him. Paul Le Guen arrives. It’s complicated because, when the new coach arrives, he comes with certain players, two of whom play my role: Jérémy Clément and Grégory Bourillon. There are less playing time and less room to express yourself. I go back down right. This is a post where Le Guen insisted that I play it. It was something I was not used to. It was a position I found too defensive for me. I then go on loan to Amiens to be able to play defensive midfielder and have more experience. Then I come back to PSG, and there I see that the group has grown. Claude Makélélé has arrived. It was even more complicated to play. That’s why I decided to leave. An opportunity came from England.
FM: Why did you choose to go then?
YM: the club coach speaks with Le Guen to explain to him why he wants me to come. Then he talks to my father. I see that I will have an opportunity to express myself there, so I accepted.
FM: Do you regret this premature end of course at PSG?
YM: Yes, a little. When we leave training and when we see the course of Clément Chantôme, I tell myself that it is a shame because it is something that is important for a young player to play in the club of his city and to represent him.
FM: Today, with the star-studded PSG, it is said that it is very difficult for a young person from the training center to break into the first team. If we were to compare to your time, you would say it was the same?
YM: PSG has always been a special club in terms of training. There is a huge pool. The best players are gathered in the center. Even if at the time it was not the current PSG with the same kind of players, the difficulty is the same because it is necessary to be very, very strong mentally and technically to reach the high level at PSG. It was just as difficult as now, especially now that a young person who is good, quickly, we contractually secure him, given the financial stakes.
FM: Which young player trained at PSG most impressed you?
YM: Clément Chantôme. He was impressive because, at the age of 16, he was already mature, and you could already feel a player who had where he wanted to go. Technically, it was so strong that he almost played while walking in training. This is something that marked me. Not only did he say he wanted to become a pro, but he demonstrated it in training. It was really strong at the time.
FM: Conversely, what is the talent for which you think he could have had a better career?
YM: Unfortunately, I would say David N’Gog. He was a precocious player. He made all the classes of the France team. He managed to play with the PSG pro group before leaving for Liverpool. Maybe a little too early. I think he could have had a better career.
FM: More generally, which player impressed you the most at PSG?
YM: Without a doubt, Pedro Miguel Pauleta. It was surgical, an attacker, as we rarely see now. He was a finisher, clever. He was a rogue. He said he had hurt all the defenses of the French championship. He was someone who knew all the defenders’ faults. He knew how to use all their weaknesses. You may be physical or fast. He always found a way to score at one point in the match. It was impressive to see his ball calls and the timing of his runs. That’s why it marked me. In training, it was something he often did.
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