Warren Zaire-Emery: Football talent watch

16 years old and already turning the heads of Lionel Messi and Neymar. Who is this remarkable young midfield talent from Paris?

Written January 9th 2023

Imagine being a football player born in 2006 (16 years of age when this is written) and already having played alongside Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in official Ligue 1 games for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) - even if it was only as a substitute.

However, the talent of this guy has already made him a starter in official games as he became the youngest starting player in the club’s history when he was named in the first eleven in the Coupe de France match against Chateauroux on the 7th of January 2023, a game PSG won 3-1.

Carrying the shirt number 33, this teenager has a very promising future in one of the richest clubs in global football, and he hasn’t cost his PSG owners more than pocket change in transfer fees.

Super talent from an early age

Warren grew up in the suburbs of Paris and started playing football at about the same time he learned to walk. He wanted to join a club as early as possible, but had to wait until he was four years old to join local club Aubervilliers, according to Wikipedia quoting RMC Sport.

His gift could be seen already as a small child and Warren soon caught the interest of the scouting network connected to Paris Saint-Germain, who signed him in 2014 - as an 8-year old!

That was a decision the PSG scouts have never rejected!

Over-achieving in Paris

Most articles written about Warren Zaire-Emery focus on the fact that he was always ahead of his age even in the rich and popular PSG youth system, always playing with teams where everyone was older than him.

When he turned 15 in 2021 he became the youngest player in the under-19 squad, and even with his modest height (he is currently just short of 180 cm) he soon became a key player as a midfielder on a team with so many older players, both in national leagues and the UEFA Youth League where PSG reached the quarter final that season.

Still a 15-year-old, he made the star-studded PSG first team that season, but never made the playing field. After all, the competition is fierce!

Contract and debut

Zaire-Emery turned heads in the football industry and attracted the eyes of many big clubs in Europe, but put all speculation to rest by signing a professional contract with PSG in July 2022. By that time he had already played in the Euro 2022 for the France under-17 team (and he has also appeared for the U-16, U-18 and U-19 teams!)

He was soon rewarded with his senior debut in a friendly and was included in the team’s preseason tour in Japan.

In August 2022 he got eight minutes of playing time in an official match for PSG, coming on as a substitute in the Ligue 1 match against Clermont Foot. His debut aged 16 years and 151 days made him the youngest footballer to appear in an official game for PSG, and he took the same record in Champions League when playing eleven minutes versus Maccabi Haifa in late October the same year.

His first PSG start came as mentioned above, in the Coupe de France on January 7th 2023. Again breaking age records!

Playing style and appearance

Warren is a midfield player, usually with more defensive responsibilities than attacking. He is not a muscular giant (although in great shape and compact enough to withstand pressure), but more than makes up for it with his high speed, sprinting ability and more than anything, his technical skills and ability to read the game. Thus he is described as a very mature player for his age, doing his tasks without fuzz and being an efficient player both winning the ball and orchestrating attacks.

According to an article by Scouted Football he is excellent on the ball both as a dribbler, carrier and a passer. He could also score goals on his runs into the box and with a decent long shot.

Best of luck for the future, Warren! It will certainly be exciting to see what happens with this magnificent talent.