PARIS – France have called up Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Warren Zaire-Emery for the first time, with the 17-year-old included in the squad to face Gibraltar and Greece in their Euro 2024 qualifiers by coach Didier Deschamps on Thursday.
The teenager has been in impressive form this season, scoring twice in 10 Ligue 1 games, and has played every minute of PSG’s four Champions League matches.
“What he is capable of achieving with his club, at his young age, demonstrates enormous potential and well-established maturity,” Deschamps told a press conference.
Zaire-Emery was the youngest player to appear for PSG when he made his debut last season aged 16 years and 151 days and in September was made France under-21 captain by coach Thierry Henry.
Aurelien Tchouameni was already ruled out of the France squad after his foot injury in his club Real Madrid’s LaLiga win over Barcelona last month but Zaire-Emery had been tipped for selection anyway having become a key member of PSG’s side.
“The absence due to injury of Aurelien Tchouameni did not necessarily condition the presence or absence of Warren Zaire-Emery,” Deschamps said.
The manager was also asked about the possibility of the young midfielder making the squad for the Euro finals.
“Why not? If he’s there, he has everything. As long as he does it at PSG and I believe he has the potential to do it at international level he is a candidate for the Euro.”
Benjamin Pavard is the other absentee after suffering a knee injury in Inter Milan’s last Serie A game and is replaced by Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo, who made his France debut in September’s 2-1 friendly defeat by Germany.
France have already qualified for the Euro 2024 finals in Germany, having taken maximum points from their six games in Group B, and host Gibraltar on Nov. 18 in Nice before their final group game three days later away to Greece. REUTERS
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