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Ever since becoming PSG’s youngest-ever debutant after coming on as a substitute for Marco Verrati in a 3-2 defeat against Sochaux in February 2013, Kingsley Coman has come a very long way indeed. His performances in the 2013 Al Kass International Cup and the 2012/13 NextGen series earned him a first-team call-up aged just 16. Since then, the attacking midfielder has gone on from strength to strength and attracted the interests of various top clubs, including Arsenal and the two Manchester Clubs. So who is this 17-year-old Arsene Wenger is chasing? Is he the next big attacking sensation to come out of PSG? At just £1 million will Coman prove to be the best bargain signing ever?
Born in Paris in 1996, Kingsley Coman started his footballing career very young. In 2002, aged just six, Coman joined the amateur side US Sénart-Moissy. He spent two years at the club, before making his move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2004. He was an integral part of the club’s youth system and constantly received praise from coaches for his work-ethic.
During the 2012/13 season, he was an integral part of the club’s NextGen series squad, going toe-to-toe against the finest footballers from all over Europe. In 2013, he participated in the Al Kass International Cup in Qatar, where he was arguably the Player of the tournament. His performances earned him his first team call-up just two weeks later and has since then remained on the fringes of the PSG first-team.
Primarily used as an attacking midfielder, the 17-year-old Frenchman is equally at home on the wings or playing in the hole, as a number ten. Predominantly right footed, Coman is also adept with his weaker left foot. His pace, acceleration and ability to beat his man means that he is at home on the wings, where his tendency to track back and win back the ball make him an all-round threat and not just a purely offensive one. His vision and intelligence on the ball, make him a player to watch out for and one that is likely to take PSG by storm in the coming years.
One of Coman’s biggest strengths is his technical ability. Whilst his pace and power allows him to glide past his man, it is his vision on the ball that makes him a difficult man to mark. Capable of picking out precise passes and making the right choices, Coman displays maturity well beyond his years. Whilst he doesn’t have the complete array of passes just yet, the fact that he is able to keep the play moving makes him a vital component in both an attacking and defensive sense.
Another of his strengths is his discipline. There are only a handful of modern wingers who track back and help out in defence and Coman is one of them. While his ability on the ball is unquestionable, his work off the ball, helping out his defence, winning the ball back is something that elevates him above the average winger. That, coupled with the fact that he is highly versatile and can play anywhere in the front three, making him one to watch out for.
Arguably his biggest weakness is his finishing. Given his penchant for creating goals, the Frenchman doesn’t score as much as he should. One of the quintessential qualities of an attacking midfielder these days is goals and that is certainly one thing Coman must add to his repertoire. Another weakness that is likely to go away with some regular first-team football is his carelessness on the ball.
Although he is on the fringes of the PSG first-team, Coman will be looking to get some regular first-team action. Since, he is unlikely to get that in PSG, given the number of experienced and expensive players in the squad, he is likely to move elsewhere in search of that elusive first-team football. Although there are a few French clubs that might interest him, it is likely that he goes abroad and Arsenal are looking firm favourites to secure his signature.
Coman, who turns 18 on Friday has quickly established himself as one of the gems in the PSG academy. He has already figured in the PSG first-team and will be itching for more regular football. If he doesn’t get it in Paris, he is likely to go out elsewhere looking for it. And Arsenal might just be the perfect place for him enhance his career and develop into one of the finest wingers of his generation. With his pace, skills and vision, if he gets a regular run of games in the first-team, he will quickly showcase his talents to the world at large and develop into one of the brightest young prospects in Europe.