Another sign of precocity.
Last week, Montpellier striker Elye Wahi scored his first professional goal by reducing the score with a clever half-volley against Monaco (2-3).
It was only the second appearance (two appearances) in Ligue 1 for the player who turned 18 on January 2.
"I hope it's the start of a long series," commented the scorer after the meeting.
Considered one of France's great hopes, Wahi has been driving the counters crazy since his childhood.
Like the world champion N'Golo Kanté, the native of Courcouronnes (Essonne) started football at 6 years old at the Jeunesse Sportive de Suresnes, in Hauts-de-Seine.
Fatherless, the Franco-Ivorian spent almost every day at the Maurice-Hubert stadium.
“At 6 years old, we already knew that he was a pure talent with athletic qualities well above the average, remembers Piotr Wojtyna, responsible for the youth categories.
At 13, he had done some training in U17 with players aged 4 years older and he was at the level.
Elye had natural power, big ball acceleration and an incredible start.
I remember a match in Racing where he scored a quintuplet and returned from midfield on the crossbar.
He still had some shortcomings in his left foot but going to a training center in Caen allowed him to progress.
89 goals in one season
The Norman club recruited him in May 2016. The phenomenon quickly demonstrated its qualities by scoring… 89 goals with the U14 and U15 in a single season.
He then won the title of top scorer (9 goals) of the Vinci Cup (international tournament for under 15s).
Upgraded to U17 Nationals the following season, Elye scored twice in his first (friendly) match against PSG at Camp des Loges.
“I have known Elye and her family since she was 14 and I was immediately struck by her exceptional qualities which had to be accompanied by a lot of physical work,” says Nouari Khiari, her image agent and former physical trainer.
His rise was stopped sharply in February 2018 after his exclusion from the Norman club following a behavioral problem in his college.
Courted at the time by many foreign clubs, his entourage decided to engage with Southampton (Premier League) for the following year.
As he was not yet 16 years old at the time and that Fifa banned transfers before that age, Elye had to stay a season in a club in France and then signed a license at FC Montfermeil (Seine-Saint- Denis) at the beginning of July.
At the end of August, the youngster signed this time an aspiring contract with Montpellier and was then at the heart of a legal battle between the Hérault club and FC Montfermeil.
The legal commission of the Professional Football League (LFP) agrees in Montpellier.
The Seine-Saint-Denis club decides not to appeal the decision to the French Federation.
"He has everything you need to succeed"
"We wanted the good of the little one and it had nothing to do with it," explains Ahmed Hadef, president of Montfermeil.
The problem was his departure for Montpellier without our agreement.
I then had a discussion with the legal manager of the club, and it went well.
Elye then continued his progression in Montpellier, and in the French U16 and U17 team.
“He's an intelligent and hard-working kid, he normally has everything it takes to succeed, praises José Alcocer, the coach of these categories.
He is a powerful player who likes to hit and provoke the opponent with the ball.
PSG express newsletter
Our information on the capital club
Subscribe to the newsletterAll newsletters
Despite the strong competition in attack with the duo Andy Delort-Gaëtan Laborde, Elye has managed to grab some playing time in the pros in Montpellier since the end of the year.
“You don't play in Ligue 1 at 17 without having good qualities, insists Alcocer.
He will have to digest what he is going through and continue to work to settle more and more permanently in the team.