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PSG: The discreet rise of Djeidi Gassama

The cries, the chambers, the drums, the young people from the surrounding districts … on this Sunday at the end of October, the PSG U19s are moving to Drancy and the atmosphere is hot around the Paul-André stadium. In this city in the Paris region, the arrival of young professionals from PSG is an event that galvanizes the crowd and can inhibit some players.

During this last U19 meeting before the holidays, Djeidi Gassama calmed the crowd. First by scoring the goal of the equalizer at 2-2, from the left under the bar after an inside hook, he who is more used to returning to his right foot. Then waving his hand to silence those who shouted at him “to stop falling” or “to go to the hospital”, when he got fouls.

During this meeting in Seine-Saint-Denis where the club of the capital was jostled (3-3), two Parisians still stand out: Warren Zaire Emery and Djeidi Gassama therefore. The striker of Mauritanian origin grew up in this type of atmosphere, whether in Carrières-sous-Poissy, where his parents live, then in Mantes-la-Jolie.

In training with the pros just before the Classic against OM

In the city where Enock Kwateng or Roli Pererira de Sa grew up, the stadium is animated by residents of the neighborhoods who come to put pressure on the opponent. “It’s an atmosphere he loves in which he grew up. He is used to giving the best under the eyes of the neighborhood greats and others who are there to sleep, notes a relative. This is where he forged his competitive spirit. “

Before the Yvelines land, Djeidi Gassama had known Mauritania for ten years before joining his father who had come to work in France, accompanied by his seven brothers and sisters. There he is already teasing the ball. Not a club football but street, neighborhood, already. The young striker then crowds the grounds of Carrières-sous-Poissy, where his parents still live and where he goes regularly to see the matches of his first club in France. In U12, he continued at Poissy for three seasons before leaving for Mantes-la-Jolie where he was spotted by a few recruiters.

A year later, head to Brest, alone. He made his first steps in Brittany as a top striker with the U16 R1s, before quickly climbing with the U17 Nationals and scoring nearly ten goals. Why and how did the Yvelines kid come back to Paris?

To find out, we have to go back to 2019. Brest then went to the field of Montrouge and Djeidi Gassama shines under the eyes of Parisian recruiters at the time when Antero Henrique was still the club’s sporting director. In the process, PSG contacted the representatives of the player, who is under an amateur agreement with the Breton club, to find out about his situation. The following ? A one-year aspiring contract and three-year professional contract (end of contract in 2023).

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Camara: “a boy who has canes, who is explosive and powerful”

After two seasons complicated by the Covid-19, which he also contracted, and a dense workforce, Gassama continues and stands out as one of the important elements this season. In fourteen official meetings this season, the one who plays on the left side has scored 7 goals and given 4 assists. And was also able to train with the professional group, especially before the Classic against OM.

Figures that would perhaps not have the same scope without a specific preparation carried out a little more than two weeks before the resumption of training, during which he did a lot of endurance, work on the supports and boxing. But also this discussion that the young boy had during the preparation with Zoumana Camara and during which he asked his coach to test him on the left side, rather than on the right. Result: 1 goal and 1 assist against Le Havre in a friendly match and a position that will not change.

“He’s progressing from game to game. He must continue. He is a boy who has canes, who is explosive and powerful. He is also comfortable in one-on-one but he is a player who still has to learn to play without the ball, Zoumana Camara explained after the match against Manchester City (1-1, September 28). If he manages to alternate being a good dribbler and playing even better in the spaces, this is where he has a huge room for improvement. If he continues like this, I don’t worry about him. “

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