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Arsenal icon Thierry Henry believes teenager Warren Zaire-Emery’s ability is ‘not normal’ for a player of his age. Henry has coached Zaire-Emery in his new role as France’s U21s head coach and has been wowed by the midfielder’s performances for Paris Saint-Germain.
Zaire-Emery shone for the Parisians in their 3-0 Champions League triumph over AC Milan on Tuesday night. The 17-year-old, who has previously been linked with Arsenal but cannot sign for an English club until his 18th birthday, bagged two assists and was named man of the match.
Henry is a big fan and insists the youngster defied his age by having such huge control over the game. The former Gunners star also pointed out that Zaire-Emery was one of the best players during PSG’s 4-1 thrashing by Newcastle earlier this month and has shown incredible maturity since breaking into the first team.
“The way Warren Zaire-Emery is playing, it is just not normal to run the show [for a] 17-year-old,” Henry told CBS Sports.
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“He was the only one who held his own at St James’ Park. He has been magnificent at the moment. Sky is the limit. I have never seen a player that young being so mature. This guy has no limit, for me.”
Some fans might see the compliment as Henry dealing a snub to England ace Jude Bellingham. A fellow midfielder, Bellingham, 20, is also known for possessing maturity beyond his years. However, Henry clearly believes that Zaire-Emery is a unique talent.
After being awarded man of the match for his display against Milan, the youngster told reporters: “I am very happy to be man of the match. It was a team effort and we did it all together and had fun. We are a team and it shows on the field. We make every effort for each other.
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“I did not play against Strasbourg, but I felt good here and I was well prepared for this game. All the better with my two assists. For sure, it was a good game of mine, but I have things to improve.”
Zaire-Emery has started seven of PSG’s nine Ligue 1 fixtures this season, which resembles a huge achievement for a teenager surrounded by mega-money superstars.
Speaking with Henry after Tuesday’s European clash, head coach Luis Enrique said: “Warren, you know him better than me. I think that he is one of the best young players in the world at this moment.
“The way that he lives soccer and lives everything as a professional. He is an example and we are very happy to have him.”
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