Hervin Ongenda making PSG impression
Paris Saint-Germain youngster Hervin Ongenda began justifying his decision to reject overtures from England by scoring in the French champions’ Trophee des Champions win on Saturday.
Ongenda, 18, netted a late equaliser after coming on as a substitute in PSG’s 2-1 victory over Coupe de France winners Bordeaux in Gabon.
Le Parisien claim that Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City were all tracking the striker before he signed professional terms with the Ligue 1 side in June.
L’Equipe, meanwhile, state that Chelsea used an intermediary to try and prise him away from Parc des Princes, before Ongenda eventually signed a contract that will run until June 2016.
The same paper also understands that Manchester United and Arsenal were monitoring the France Under-18 international last winter, following his debut for PSG in the Coupe de France.
A diminutive Paris-born player of Congolese descent, Ongenda has now scored three goals in pre-season. He has often been deployed on the right wing by coach Laurent Blanc and replaced Javier Pastore in the 72nd minute on Saturday.
“He’s a very good player,” Blanc told RMC after the win against Bordeaux. “He reads the game well and his movement is very good. In front of goal he’s also very skilful. That’s a lot of qualities and he’s still very young.”
Ongenda’s father, a former Congo international, believes that the teenager will get more chances to impress in Paris this season.
“In front of goal, he fears no one,” Felix Ongenda told Le Parisien. “Even if he has [Gianluigi] Buffon in front of him, he stays calm. His start to the season confirms that he made the right choice by signing a contract with PSG.
“He’s looking at this year as an apprenticeship. There’ll always be moments when the coach will need him. Working alongside players like [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic and [Edinson] Cavani, you can only learn quickly. He’s there to develop and doesn’t need to cut corners.”