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Big things expected of Weah at PSG and by the United States

Big things are expected of Timothy Weah, right, at Paris Saint-Germain.

Paris Saint-Germain have handed a first professional contract to Timothy Weah in the latest move designed to keep the French capital outfit's best youth academy graduates at Parc des Princes. The 17-year-old is highly rated, and big things are expected of him in Ligue 1 over the next few years.

Weah is yet to make his senior debut, but his contract runs until 2020, which suggests coach Unai Emery could be calling on him sooner rather than later -- indeed, perhaps as early as this summer's International Champions Cup in the United States, where he was born in 2000. 

Here are five things to know about Weah:

1. Son of George

Let's start with the obvious. Weah is an iconic name in football, particularly in France after George Weah graced Le Championnat with AS Monaco and PSG between 1988 and 1995. The legendary former Liberia international, who won the 1995 Ballon d'Or, is Timothy's father.

"Mister George" is fondly remembered in Paris, where he won Ligue 1 in 1993-94, as well as two Coupe de France titles and one Coupe de la Ligue trophy. After scoring more than 50 goals in three seasons with PSG, Weah went on to play for Milan, Chelsea and Man City, before ending his career back in France with Marseille.

2. American youth international

Although his father was born, raised and started his football career in Liberia, Timothy was born in New York City and has thus far opted to play for the land of his birth. He was part of the U.S. side that finished runners-up to Mexico in May's CONCACAF Under-17 Championship in Panama, which was enough to clinch a place at the World Cup later this year.

Weah scored twice in the tournament, and although he is not yet at the same level of potential as Christian Pulisic, he could start to build up some hype of his own if he gets similar opportunities in Paris that his fellow countryman has enjoyed with Borussia Dortmund.

3. Rising star for club and country

Weah's rise in stock has come about after those performances with the U.S. youth team, as well as some impressive displays at under-19 level for PSG in the UEFA Youth League. He scored a hat trick on his first start in the competition -- an 8-1 hammering of Bulgarian side Ludogorets Razgrad.

That hints at his potential, although Jean-Kevin Augustin was a similar talent in PSG's youth academy and he has failed to transition smoothly into Emery's senior squad despite remaining prolific for club and country at youth level.

4. Right-sided attacking talent

Like Augustin, Weah is capable of playing through the middle, as well as from wide, and the youngster's versatility suits the possession-based, 4-3-3 formation that PSG have played for the past few years.

Although it would take a meteoric leap from the academy to reach the senior setup, there could be a regular starting role waiting for him if he can remain prolific in terms of goals scored and created.

5. A new golden generation in Paris?

Weah and Colin Dagba's maiden professional contracts were announced on the same day, and the pair is expected to be followed by more youth academy starlets, including Claudio Gomes and Yacine Adli.

If and when Weah makes his breakthrough at senior level, he could find himself playing on a team with more homegrown representation than there has been for a long time; Adrien Rabiot and Presnel Kimpembe are already at the senior table.

Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.


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