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Profiling Warren Zaïre-Emery, the crown jewel of PSG's academy

A brief profile of Paris Saint-Germain's youngest-ever debutant

Warren Zaïre-Emery passing the ball during Paris Saint-Germain's pre-season tour of Japan in summer 2022
Llew Davies

AUGUST 12, 2022

Who is Warren Zaïre-Emery?

Warren Zaïre-Emery already looks like the best midfielder we’ve seen in a generation. It seems absurd to say that about a player that is yet to turn 17, but having watched a lot of him last season, it really isn’t hyperbole.

The Paris-born teenager was a dominant force at UEFA Youth League level for Paris Saint-Germain, playing as a 15-year-old against mostly 18- and 19-year-olds in what is an increasingly competitive competition. Not stopping there, Zaïre-Emery was then one of the best players of the tournament at the Under-17 Euros, again underlining his dominance, this time against players around his own age.

His performances put him in a strong position this summer when it came to negotiating an extension to his first professional contract with PSG. And, aiming not to let yet another highly-rated youngster leave the club for nothing, PSG were able to tie him down to a short-term deal that expires in 2025.

But the extension clearly wasn’t an empty gesture from PSG. Zaïre-Emery featured in the club’s pre-season tour of Japan, and then came off the bench in the senior team’s first Ligue 1 game of the season – a clear vote of confidence in perhaps the best player the club’s academy has ever produced.

Warren Zaïre-Emery's style of play

Warren Zaïre-Emery is an extraordinarily well-rounded player for his age. He progress the ball well as a dribbler, carrier, and passer. He also adds a a decent goal threat as a later runner into the box and a long-range ball-striker. His technical level is really good, very clean and controlled in everything he does.

His mobility is a significant aspect of his skillset, and he is extremely well-developed athletically for his age. Not only is he compact and solid, Zaïre-Emery also possesses an electric change of speed over shorrter distances anda nimble agility across the ground. His physical profle is more than ready to absorb the

His intelligence and nous is impressive too, which further supplements his on-ball and athletic skill. Not only does he have an innate awareness of what’s happening around him, enabling him to play out of pressure on the ball, he anticipates situations quickly against the ball. That makes Zaïre-Emery an effective defender too, as he pounces on attackers to win it back using his solid frame and combativity.

He does everything: break up play with anticipation and duelling skill, he moves the ball efficiently with composure, he slips pressure and drives into space like a hot knife through butter. The poise that Zaïre-Emery plays with is remarkable for a player of his age. I appreciate that this is bordering on boundless hype, but the 16-year-old PSG product justifies it.

Warren Zaïre-Emery is a name you are going to hear a lot more of in the coming years. He’s a plug-and-play profile in midfield, capable of playing any role in any shape or system, and, based off what we’ve seen so far, he has the potential to become an elite-level player.

Warren Zaïre-Emery is a remarkably well-rounded midfielder that can impact games as a passer, dribbler, ball-carrier, defender, and goal-scorer. Not only is he the complete package, he is a plug-and-play profile as well.

As absurd as it sounds, there are no flaws to Warren Zaïre-Emery’s game. There are a few things he can improve, though: he could be more present throughout games at times, and he has room to devleop his passing range somewhat.

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