Teenager Kingsley Coman is hoping to follow in Paul Pogba's footsteps by making a breakthrough in Serie A, with Paris Saint-Germain's youngest ever debutant having completed a move to Juventus.
Despite being offered a new three-season contract in Paris, the 18-year-old elected to sign a deal in Turin running until 2019, bargaining that he was more likely to get playing time with the Italian champions than with their French counterparts.
It is a bold move for a player who has been capped at every youth level by France and was highly regarded at his club. "I think he is among the most talented young players at Paris," coach Laurent Blanc said of Coman early this year. "Now it is up to him to make that talent flourish. Hopefully for him, he is a player we can rely on for the future."
Coman showcased his skills in last season's UEFA Youth League with Paris, having made his first-team debut in a February 2013 Ligue 1 game against FC Sochaux-Montbéliard. He took the pitch for the first time at the age of 16 years, 246 days, breaking Nicolas Anelka's 18-year-old record to become the club's youngest ever debutant.
Anelka, tellingly, also had to leave Paris to make his breakthrough – at Arsenal FC – but Pogba, who has come into his own since joining Juventus from Manchester United FC, may be the player Coman is looking to emulate.
As it is, he has left Paris with something to remember him by; used as a wide man in two three Ligue 1 appearances last season, Coman set up the club's last goal of the season, for Adrien Rabot, in a 4-0 win against Montpellier Hérault SC on 17 May.
The challenge now is to live up to his billing. Patrick Gonfalone, Coman's coach with France's Under-17 side, said of Coman in 2012: "He is the most talented new player in Paris and would have played in the top flight regularly had he not been at star-studded Paris." Time will tell whether Coman's gamble on Juventus will get him the playing time he needs.
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