Following the high compliments from his manager Christophe Galtier, 16-year-old Zaire-Emery was selected for PSG’s starting lineup for their Champions League round of 16 match against Bayern Munich on Tuesday night.
Cole did not hold back in his admiration for the teenager while speaking about him on BT Sport in advance of the evening’s match between two European heavyweights.
Cole compared the player to one of the game’s most noteworthy adolescent talents ever.
“He is already a man. We were discussing his mentality. Normally, you would go utterly insane after scoring your first goal, but he merely continued to walk away, cool as you like.”
He isn’t far off the level of his front three (Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe), according to his boss Galtier.
Owen Hargreaves agreed with his colleague that he can be trusted in such a significant situation as a Champions League quarterfinal match against six-time champion Bayern Munich.
He stated, “I think with young athletes they don’t truly fear.
“They’ve never had a failure.”
With the French giants, Zaire-Emery has had a tremendous breakthrough season.
The midfielder has played 11 times in Ligue 1 this year; his sole other appearance in Europe came in a 7-2 win against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Extending the debate to a more general discussion of PSG, all the analysts agreed that it was a momentous night for the club after years of underperformance and disappointment in the tournament, despite confirmed allegations of altercations in the locker room and disputes among teammates.
Since French domestic football resumed after the World Cup, performances and results have dropped off a cliff, placing Galtier under increasing pressure.