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Romain emperor: PSG transfer target Faivre ready for the big time

7:00 pm AEDT 23/1/22
Romain Faivre Brest
The Brest midfielder has impressed Ligue 1 audiences with his elegance and now a move to PSG could be on the cards

Romain Faivre is certainly not a young man lacking in confidence.

He has been in the news for two primary reasons in January. Firstly, an impudent Panenka against a Covid-stricken Bordeaux side in the Coupe de France infuriated Brest’s Ligue 1 rivals, who felt that he was purposely humiliating them.

Days later, rumours over a potential move to Paris Saint-Germain began to circulate.

The Brest midfielder has spent the last 18 months entertaining Ligue 1 fans with his graceful brand of football, impressing at a club that traditionally does not earn much media coverage or garner much interest. He has brought both.

But while PSG are set to have a restrained transfer window, the former Monaco youth player appears on the shortlist of the Parc des Princes side this January.

Speaking to Canal+, he has made it clear he would be open to a move.

“To play for PSG? There’s been contact with my agent,” he explained a week ago. “It’s a dream. It’s my city. My family and my friends are there.”

Previously, he had been heavily courted by Serie A club Milan, only for the deal to break down as the Italians’ offer of €12 million (£10m/$14m) was deemed insufficient.

Certainly, with his easy technique and graceful style, he would have been a fitting addition to the Rossoneri ranks – and he made it clear to Brest that he was not happy at being unable to leave for San Siro. Indeed, he was even exiled from the squad on one occasion as a result of his outspoken nature.

“Which player in the Brest squad would not be flattered by AC Milan’s interest?” he told Ouest France. “I had contact with them but I’m not obsessed.

“I made it clear that in football I have high goals and ambitions.”

If Faivre is assured in his own ability, he has been wise enough to build a team around him that will allow him to thrive. He has his own physical trainer, a mental trainer, a nutritionist, almost like one would expect from an individual athlete.

“I’m just preparing to be above the others. I pay attention to my physique, my diet, my sleep. I’m putting all these little details together to help me get to a team like AC Milan,” he said.

He left Monaco at the age of 21 having played just four first-team games and there was little widespread expectation on him when he arrived at Brest in the summer of 2020. His background work, though, clearly did the trick.

He hit the ground running, scoring four goals and creating three more before Christmas, and even if he faded a little in the second half of the campaign, he had shown enough to persuade Milan to make an approach.

His influence has only grown this season, albeit it has been dulled by playing in a side that has struggled to excel. Nevertheless, with seven goals and five assists, he has already beaten his scoring tally from last season and lies just one short in the other statistic.

Perhaps what has been most impressive about the left-sided player is that he has been equally effective in a number of different roles over the past 18 months. An ability to play left, centre or right midfield in an attacking style offers versatility, while his dribbling qualities mean he has the capacity to open up tightly-packed defences.

Given that he is no slouch defensively, there is a lot to like about his game.

He will not be easy to capture. With a contract that runs until 2025, all the power lies with Brest – and they have indicated they do not want to sell.

“We’re calm,” sporting director Gregory Lorenzi told L’Equipe at the end of December. “We want to keep Romain until the end of the season and we don’t want him to leave this winter. But if there’s an offer we can’t refuse, we’ll study it.

“Our first thought is that he’ll stay and we’ll reanalyse his situation next summer.”

A move to PSG would doubtless be a big step up, but Faivre has shown he has it in his locker to prove his doubters wrong, while he has the focus and professional attitude that could take him far in the game.

He could prove a fine addition to the Parc des Princes club, which has been leaning on Kylian Mbappe far too heavily for too long.