The exodus of Paris Saint-Germain’s academy players continues after L’Équipe’s revelation that Edouard Michut requested to leave the club permanently.
On Monday, the French outlet reported that Michut wants to move on with his career by leaving the club after Mauricio Pochettino left him and his U-19 teammate, Xavi Simons, out of the lineup entirely on Sunday in a meaningless match against ES Troyes AC.
Michut’s entourage declared to France Bleu Paris: “He was sold a project, but if there is no project…Edouard Michut’s treatment is catastrophic.
The question to ask is: how does a boy who wanted to make all his career at PSG wish now to leave the farthest possible?
He is 19 years old; he wants to play football.”
Bon, comme tous les camarades, on me confirme le souhait d'@edouard_michut de quitter le @PSG_inside. Sous contrat jusqu'en 2025 mais il a "envie de jouer au football". La situation vis à vis des titis? "Un éternel recommencement". @francebleuparis @francebleusport #FBsport
— Julien Froment (@JulienFroment) May 9, 2022
France Bleu Paris also reported that in addition to the Frenchman’s desire to quit PSG, the Simons could also follow the path of Michut.
🔴 Le PSG n’a pas encore été informé de la décision d’Edouard Michut 🇫🇷 de quitter le club. La situation pourrait se répéter avec Xavi Simons 🇳🇱 qui est en fin de contrat.
"On connaît la situation, on verra", dit-t-on du côté du Camp des Loges.
— Hadrien Grenier (@hadrien_grenier) May 9, 2022
With his contract arriving at term, he could leave PSG for a free at the end of the season as the two of them have not received a fair amount of playing time (44 minutes in Ligue 1 for Michut and 106 minutes for Simmons in Ligue 1).
So, what led to this kind of situation at Paris Saint-Germain? Who is to blame?
Both Simons and Michut started the season with regular appearances at the professional team’s training facility, but they were playing with the Under-19 team during the weekend.
After the winter break, they resumed training with the first team due to players being injured (Neymar Jr., Gianluigi Donnarumma, Julian Draxler, Lionel Messi, and Danilo Pereira) and others who were at the AFCON (Idrissa Gueye, Achraf Hakimi, and Abdou Diallo). On January 3, the two PSG pearls were selected to start against Vannes OC in the Coupe de France.
Six days later, they were on the bench for the games against Olympique Lyonnais, where they made a remarkable entry, notably Michut, who assisted Thilo Kehrer’s equalizer goal.
Marco Verratti declared after that game: “It was a pleasure to see Xavi Simons and Edouart Michut coming in; they are ready to play in Ligue 1.”
However, after that game, coach Mauricio Pochettino did not share Verrati’s opinion; the two youngsters saw their playing time reduced as the infirmary emptied.
None of them had a consistent playing time except for the former La Masia player (Simons), who was given a chance in the starting line-up and played 66 minutes against Rennes.
Otherwise, they alternated between being given less than 5 minutes or not playing at all.
On April 17, after PSG defeated rivals Olympique de Marseille, Pochettino declared on Amazon Prime video: “I think once the title is going to be secured, it will be the opportunity to launch some young players.”
However, once the title was assured during PSG’s draw against RC Lens on April 23, the two players have yet to play a minute.
Last Sunday could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back for the two teenagers as they were sent to the stand to watch instead of play a role in the match.
After the final whistle, Pochettino declared: “I have not said they will play; I said they might have some playing time.”
These sentences, which contradict what the manager has previously stated, clearly show the lack of direction for youth in the club.
The frustration also comes from the fact that even when the so-called “international” players were playing poorly, the use of Simons, Michut, and PSG’s other talented youth players was not even an option for the former Tottenham Hotspur manager.
This has led to a tense situation where PSG is set to let go of two of their academy’s best talents. What is next?
As we all know, PSG academy is abundant in talent.
Although the Paris Saint-Germain has not yet found an optimal way to use and develop its academy, it will be an essential goal to build the new training center in Poissy.
Nevertheless, PSG has to face a recurrent problem that they have been enduring for many years; How to keep their best prodigies?
The fact that the club does not dispose to the second team makes it hard for players over 19-years-old to get game time without having to quit PSG.
Some of these overage players feature with the club’s amateur section, which plays in National 3, the fifth division in France.
Loaning some players out as Chelsea has done over the years could also be a way to convince players to stay at PSG by outlining a well-defined career plan.
Unfortunately, rumors are circulating that some youth at PSG do not want to be loaned to lower-tier Ligue 1 teams as they consider themselves “too good” for this level.
It will be important that PSG convince Ismaël Gharbi (18-years-old) to sign his first professional contract with the club as his current contract expires in June, and it has been reported (Goal) that major clubs are trying to lure him.
According to the journalist Abdellah Boulma on Twitter, the length of the contract alongside the salary complicated the discussion with the skillful youth forward.
🔴 Pour le premier contrat pro d’Ismael Gharbi au PSG, il y a actuellement :
– désaccord sur la durée du contrat ❌
– désaccord sur le salaire ❌
— Hadrien Grenier (@hadrien_grenier) May 8, 2022
In a nearly similar context, PSG is on track to sign the first professional contract of Warren Zaire-Emery (16-years-old), a terrific polyvalent midfielder playing with the Under-19 who had been one of the best midfielders of the UEFA Youth League.
Currently, with an aspirant contract, PSG would like to secure the phenomenon by offering him his first professional contract.
Instead of making compulsive purchases on players that are not significantly better than what PSG dispose of in their academy, giving a chance to the youth could be a steppingstone for the valorization of homemade players in the first team.