The French national team’s senior squad is buzzing with excitement at the call-up of 17-year-old Warren Zaire-Emery. It’s a rare opportunity for a player his age to compete at this level of international football.
Current and former French players from across Europe have their thoughts on the teenager’s call-up. One person who weighed in on the current form of Zaire-Emery is former Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger.
The former Gunners boss and now director of global football development at FIFA even compares him to three top-quality French talents: Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kanté, and the most flattering comparison, Patrick Vieira.
“He has something of the power of Paul Pogba but also points in common with N’Golo Kanté in his ability to recover balls,” Wenger said (h/t Paris Fans).
“Zaire-Emery is a bit of a mix of the two, a combination of the two 2018 world champions, with his ability to win duels without making a mistake and to project himself forward by making people appreciate his great vision of the game. He has a little Patrick [Vieira] thing, too—a box-to-box midfielder, as the English say (complete, capable of defending and scoring).”
If the midfielder maintains his current level of performance, he may soon become a regular member of the first-team squad instead of being considered for the youth teams. PSG manager Luis Enrique has entrusted him with the responsibility of leading the midfield, and he shows no signs of giving up that position anytime soon.
France is set to play two matches, one against Gibraltar on November 18 and another against Greece on November 21. It will be interesting to see how much playing time Zaire-Emery will get and whether he will be given a starting position, given that France has already secured a spot in the 2024 UEFA Euro.