Thierry Henry’s first game as France U21 manager ended with a convincing 4-1 friendly win against Denmark yesterday. Goals from Lyon’s Johann Lepenant and Rayan Cherki as well as a brace from Lens’ Elye Wahi ensured Henry got his tenure off to a flyer. The former legendary Arsenal elected to appoint Paris Saint-Germain midfield prodigy Warren Zaïre-Emery (17) as Les Bleuets captain. The PSG youth product is the youngest France U21 captain in thirty years. Zaïre-Emery impressed again against the Danish, delivering a strong performance and displaying a maturity well beyond his age.
Speaking to Le Parisien, Henry was full of praise for the 17-year-old midfielder, who is also a starter in Luis Enrique’s PSG. “One can say it’s early for him to be a starter at PSG and the captain of France U21. I have no problem with it. We know very well what he can do. I wanted to see what he had in his guts and he responded well.“
Zaïre-Emery has mentioned his pride at being made captain at only 17. “In the early days of the international break, we talked with Thierry Henry and he told me why he wanted to give me the armband. I’m not the most outgoing player in the squad but I’m getting there. I’m here to give my best.” France will kick-off their campaign to qualify for the U21 Euro 2025 against Slovenia on Monday.
GFFN | Bastien Cheval