All that PSG was missing. After the climate of Toussaint in the middle of spring despite the tenth title of champion of France, the uncertainties about the future of Mauricio Pochettino and (above all) Kylian Mbappé, here is the controversy over the low use of young people. To tell the truth nothing new, since the question seems a “chestnut”, like the reports on school supplies at the beginning of September. But the topic suddenly returned to the news within a few hours, via Pochettino and Edouard Michut.
On Sunday, Paris – already officially titled for 15 days – fielded a team of stars not all very motivated in the draw against Troyes (2-2). While attacking midfielder Ismaël Gharbi (18) made his first (invisible) appearance in L1, in the 89th minute Xavi Simons (19) and Edouard Michut (19) followed the show from the stands.
Forget the beautiful statements on Prime Video by the Argentine coach, on April 17 after the match against OM (2-1), on the launch of some Titis during a gently sloping season finale, “for the future of the club and their own future “.” I did not say they would play, I said they could have minutes, Sunday night I beat Pochettino. The place for young people is not great. They must deserve those moments of play “.
Since Monday, the Michut clan has let her wishes filter elsewhere. “Before the excuse was that the group was too large, after that it was the change of coach, left a relative on France Bleu Paris. But there, when we see that he is in the stands for the Troyes match … “
A former PSG-trained defender, who left at the age of 21 in 2011 at the dawn of the QSI era, Tripy Makonda fully understands the mood of the blues. “I’m not totally throwing the stone at Pochettino on this topic, but he made a communication error, underlines the consultant of France Bleu Paris, contacted by 20 minutes. It is normal that we feel that Michut wants to leave. Give hope to the players and behind … Psychologically, they take a hard hit. I’ve been in their situation. Even if we have good training and good games downstairs, we want to have a consideration, a reward at the end of the season. “
This frustration accumulated over the months is felt in the Michut clan where a “catastrophic treatment” of the U19 International, under contract until 2025, is evoked: “The question to ask is:” as a boy who wanted to spend his entire career “. at PSG now he wants to go as far as possible? He’s 19, he wants to play football.” With 160 minutes accumulated in six games (L1 and Coupe de France), we are necessarily far from the finish line.
21-year-old defensive midfielder Eric Junior Dina-Ebimbe (14 appearances, contract ended in 2023) and Simons (8, free in June) are only slightly better. “It is a pity that young people cannot participate in certain matches on time, continues Makonda. Simons, for example, who precedes Michut, could have integrated the rotation more. With the injuries of Herrera and Paredes, the difficulties of Gueye on his return from CAN and those of Wijnaldum, he could have developed a bond with Verratti. This would have given him confidence and we would have seen his potential. “
An illegible policy
Former goalkeeper and later PSG sporting director (1991-1998), Jean-Michel Moutier (67) broadens the debate. “We should ask ourselves the question of what we do with the training. National 2 has been removed [en 2019]. Now, at 19, young people either sign a professional or they leave. The club could have had a subsidiary club with a real strategy. Or, the FFF should organize a U21 or U23 competition, like in England. “
Some British clubs, such as Manchester City or Chelsea, also gather young lenders from the four corners of Europe, knowing that the boys in question have as many opportunities to make an impression on the first team as they do to win the lottery. . It is far from ethical (even FIFA has delved into the subject) but at least there is a logic behind it. Not like in Paris.
“There is no strategic plan with these young people to allow them to have a long-term vision,” laments Makonda. Moutier, now retired, strikes harder: “It’s been 11 years since the QSI arrived and the project is to win the Champions League. But apart from racking up stars, I don’t see the long-term sports vision. And who says stars, says ego and special status … In order not to lose the support of part of the locker room and spark controversy up to Ushuaïa, Pochettino cannot afford to free Lionel Messi, even in small form as too often this season.
“We have to put the PSG flag above the players, so that there is respect at all levels,” says Tripy Makonda. If Adrien Rabiot, a few years ago, then Presnel Kimpembe were able to establish themselves at home, many others found happiness far from the “anxious climate” (according to Makonda) of the Camp des Loges, from Maignan to Diaby passing through Coman or Nkunku, elected on Tuesday Bundesliga player of the month for the fourth time this season, thanks to his performances with RB Leipzig. “I know Coman a little and in Paris he had the feeling that to be considered you had to come from outside,” says Moutier.
If the Parisian management seems to want to review the whole functioning of a single club 8th C1 finalist and gloomy champion this summer, the future could be written without Simons, Michut, Dina-Ebimbe or defender El Chedaille Bitshiabu (16 years old, three games this season, under contract until 2024), also much courted abroad. Only Gharbi has announced that he wants to stay.
As for the case of striker Arnaud Kalimuendo (20 years, under contract until 2024), it remains mysterious after two years of lucky loan to Artois. “I have often commented on Lens matches and I think he would have done well in the PSG rotation,” assures Makonda. He is a pure center forward, and Icardi has often injured himself in addition to extra-sporting concerns, while we believe that Mbappé’s privileged position is on the left and that Messi likes to go down. “
In short, the future of Kalimuendo is as vague as the short-term horizon of the PSG, whose results Leonardo recently boasted of the results of the training center and more generally of the relevant policy: “This year we launched four young born after 2003, said the sports director in The group , early March. Only Rennes did better in L1, with five. German clubs, alert as soon as a young Frenchman points the end of his shorts, feast in advance.