It was all about Warren Zaïre-Emery (17) in the build-up to France’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Gibraltar. The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder became the youngest player to play for Les Bleus since Maurice Gastiger in 1914. However, it was a bittersweet night for the debutant.
Zaïre-Emery began the game brightly, quickly making his presence felt in the midfield. In the 16th minute, he won the ball back, charged forward, and laid the ball off to Kingsley Coman, who then fed the ball back for Zaïre-Emery to open his account for Les Bleus. It looked like being a fairytale debut for the PSG midfielder, however, in scoring his goal, France’s third on the night, he was injured by a clumsy challenge from Ethan Santos.
The Gibraltar defender caught Zaïre-Emery just above the ankle and was subsequently sent off after a VAR check. The French midfielder also came off with the help of France’s medical staff. He was replaced by Youssuof Fofana.
Zaïre-Emery was pictured returning to the dressing rooms shortly after and according to L’Équipe, he left the Allianz Riviera before the second half had even begun. Speaking to TF1 at half-time, Didier Deschamps confirmed that Zaïre-Emery’s ankle had turned and that it had since reacted and was swollen. “He’s going off for tests. We’re hoping it won’t be too serious for him. This is the only dark point of this half,” said Deschamps. PSG and France will be hoping for good news in the coming hours.
GFFN | Luke Entwistle