While USMNT youngster Timothy Weah may be just 18 years old, he has hopes of competing not just with the best players on his team, but the best players in the world.
At USMNT camp this morning, the American teenager told the media today that he made the decision himself to reject a loan spell this season in favor of staying at PSG and attempting to earn a place in the team. Sticking around at a team with Champions League title aspirations might sound daunting enough, even before considering who he’s competing with.
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Weah had a strong preseason and earned a spot in the PSG squad early in the season, and found the field enough to score his first competitive goal for the club in the 4-0 season-opening Trophee des Champions victory over Monaco. He then came off the bench to score in the regular season opener against Caen. Unfortunately, that was before the big guns came back.
As superstars Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Edinson Cavani slowly trickled back from World Cup duty and regained their fitness, Weah once again faded into the background. 31-year-old Cavani was the last to return, and once that happened, Weah was no longer even among the substitutes.
However, now that Mbappe will miss three matches due to a red card suspension, it’s possible that Weah could make a return to the matchday squad and play a part. That’s likely what Weah’s season hinges on – injuries, suspensions, and anything else that creates an opening in the otherwise logjammed attacking presence at Parc de Princes.
Aside from Neymar, Mbappe, and Cavani, Weah has to compete with the likes of Angel Di Maria, Julian Draxler, Jese, fellow PSG youth product Moussa Diaby, and now new signing Eric Maxim Chupo-Moting. That’s an absolutely star-studded squad that Weah might find it hard to crack. Nonetheless, his performances in both preseason and the beginning of competition this season may go a long way towards helping him earn Thomas Tuchel’s trust.
It will be interesting to see if Weah can find playing time with so much major competition, but even if he’s simply a bit-part player, at just 18 years old, being with that first team could provide valuable experience and go a long way towards his future development. If the opportunities don’t arise, he could always move out on loan in January.