The coronavirus crisis particularly affects young French footballers, deprived of official competitions since the end of October. At PSG, the many contaminations within the under-17 and 19-year-olds even led the club to close its training center a week before a new testing campaign. So for the Titis, a presence in the professional group, synonymous with regular training, may count even more than in previous years. Four are installed under the orders of Mauricio Pochettino: defender Timothée Pembélé (18 years old), midfielder Xavi Simons (17 years old), Edouard Michut (17 years old) and goalkeeper Denis Franchi (18 years old).
“I’m happy with the youngsters,” slipped the Argentine coach last week. The squad is large and it’s a shame not to find the space to see them play. But we will adjust over time. We have just arrived at PSG and you know that I enjoy leading young people with ambition and the desire to find a place in the group. “Bandiougou Fadiga was loaned (with option to buy) to Brest during the transfer window in order to satisfy logical aspirations for his age (20 years). Kays Ruiz (18), integrated in the first team since the summer campaign of the Champions League, has been “returned” to the under-19s of Stéphane Roche. Discussions around his contract extension are bogged down.
A departure at the end of the season is expected by PSG, as announced by RMC Sport last week. During the first training sessions led by Pochettino, Kenny Nagera (18 years), Thierno Baldé (18 years), Soumaila Coulibaly (17 years) and even the great hope El-Chadaille Bisthiabu (15 years) trod the lawns with the finalists of the Champions League before returning to their daily lives at the training center.
Youth League Goal
Among the four remaining, Simons and Michut enjoy a good rating with the new Parisian staff. Their profile as a ball handler appeals to Pochettino and his assistants, as evidenced by their integration into the squads on match days. But their young age and strong competition in midfield prevent further visibility.
They were able to play 45 minutes with the U19s during a friendly in mid-January. “It did them good,” Stéphane Roche told us. Xavi, we felt in the fall that he was ready. For Edouard, there was also a good dynamic. “
For Pembélé, currently positive for Covid-19, the situation does not differ much. Number 3 in the hierarchy on the right side and as a right axial, he has not played a minute since January 6 despite the successive forfeits of Dagba or Marquinhos. This contrasts with the end of the Thomas Tuchel era, who had established him four times in a month. The Youth League, which begins on March 3 in Seville, seems a more credible horizon for these Titis. While waiting for better.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr