A European Under-17 champion with France in 2015, Paris' Nanitamo Ikone featured in the UEFA Youth League final last season and on Wednesday scored against Real Madrid.
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Though he has yet to make his senior debut for Paris Saint-Germain, Nanitamo Ikone will not be so much of an unknown quantity after opening the scoring in front of nearly 90,000 fans on Wednesday as Unai Emery's side defeated Real Madrid 3-1 in the second friendly of their pre-season tour of the United States. Introducing UEFA.com's latest weekly wonderkid.
Name: Jonathan Nanitamo Ikone
Club: Paris Saint-Germain
Born: 2 May 1998
Preferred foot: Left
They say …
"Jonathan is a very promising midfielder. The fact he has chosen to stay with us shows the club's academy policy and its will to trust our young players is working well."
Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, Paris president
"He is a versatile player. He has proven [to be] a decisive midfielder, both as a creator and a finisher. He reminds me of [Jean-Kévin] Augustin and should follow the same path. He is like [Kingsley] Coman in that he loves dribbling."
Laurent Bonadéi, former Paris U19 coach
Born in Bondy, a commune in the northeastern suburbs of the French capital, Ikone joined the Paris youth system in 2010. He shone in a wide-right position as a France side boasting pace and power in abundance triumphed at the 2015 UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Bulgaria, Ikone scoring one goal in six appearances. In 2015/16, Ikone helped Paris win the national U19 title, reach the UEFA Youth League final and last month penned his first professional contract.
Playing style ...
Ikone is a left-footed player whose game is based on a mix of strength and dribbling skills. He likes to drift infield and shoot from long range or try to force his way through the opposition's defensive line.
Shades of ...
Ikone's profile mirrors that of Kingsley Coman, a graduate of the Paris academy now plying his trade at Bayern München, on loan from Juventus. They both love to dribble, although Ikone is a winger whose speed is reminiscent of Franck Ribéry and Anthony Martial.
Eureka moment ...
Ikone showed his potential with a solo goal against Madrid on Wednesday in front of a crowd of 86,641 in Columbus, Ohio. Only two matches in Paris' history have attracted a bigger attendance.
Best-case scenario ...
Ikone was linked with Juventus before committing to Paris in June. Whether he stays at Paris long term or, like Coman, leaves after a handful of appearances, the 18-year-old has the potential to be an important player for club and country.
He says ...
"I'm very happy to have scored for Paris Saint-Germain. It's my first goal as a pro and I hope there will be more to come. I saw from the very start of the game that there was a lot of space on the pitch so I took advantage and it paid off. I'm very happy, we pulled off some great things on the pitch today and I hope it continues that way."
"It's a great source of pride to sign pro for such an ambitious club as Paris Saint-Germain. To train and learn alongside such incredible players is the perfect place for me to continue my apprenticeship."