PSG are have one of the most enviable collection of strikers in the world. Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, and Neymar would be in the dream teams of most fans. However, there is a 20-year-old aiming to make an impact.
Arnaud Kalimuendo has been with the PSG senior squad since 2020 and spent the next two seasons with RC Lens. He is back with the Parisians and has been on fine form in preseason.
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Nevertheless, Kalimuendo is generating considerable interest from across Europe, meaning he could still leave. There’s a lot of things to like about the forward and he is definitely a talent for the future.
Kalimuendo knows the net
Arnaud Kalimuendo joined PSG’s youth academy in 2012 from FC Saint Cloud. He made his debut as a 16-year-old with the U19s in the UEFA Youth League. The side was then led by Thiago Motta, and Kalimuendo soon started showing his immense potential.
He inked his first professional contract in 2019, before making his debut in September 2020. However, that would be his lone appearance for PSG that season. Kalimuendo was loaned out to Lens, where he would be a regular part of the squad.
Arnaud Kalimuendo starts for PSG tonight: a Ligue 1 debut at 18 years old. Prolific across the age groups for club and country, and also impressive in pre-season. Watch for him. pic.twitter.com/B0Myplyv3e
— Scouted Football (@scoutedftbl) September 10, 2020
His strong performances raised hopes of featuring regularly with PSG, but he was out on another loan to Lens again in 2021-22. Kalimuendo has a sharp eye for goal and is constantly found in dangerous areas.
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His low centre of gravity makes him difficult to stop once he gets going. He has one of the rising stars in French football over the past few years, and for good reason.
Lens greatly benefitted from Kalimuendo who has grown in confidence. Now, it could be the time to take the next step, whether with PSG or in Europe.
Arnaud Kalimuendo stats
21 goals in two seasons across all competitions is no mean feat when starting your career. Kalimuendo scored 12 goals in Ligue 1 in 2021-22 from just 29 shots on-target. Therefore, he was converting almost 50% of all his shots into goals, which is a great showing.
Moreover, he was also involved 47 shot-creating actions, showing his active presence in the final third. That is also evident in Kalimuendo receiving 9.48 progressive passes per 90 for the 89th percentile in Europe.
However, where he really shines is his passing game. Kalimuendo completed 82.6% of all his passes which placed him in the 99th percentile amongst forwards on the continent.
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Kalimuendo overperformed on his xG of 9.21, which is always a strong indicator of him getting into decent goal-scoring areas. His poacher-like qualities will be a strong asset for any club, especially those in need of urgent goals.
Kalimuendo is a typical number 9 who can roam around the attacking sides of the pitch, looking for the opportunities to open up.
Alongside his club duties, Kalimuendo has also been a regular scorer for the French youth teams. He has 14 goals combined among the French U16s, U17s, and U21s, whom he currently represents.
Arnaud Kalimuendo scout report
As good as Kalimuendo has been, there are certain areas which need definite improvement. The French U21 international can be found wanting when it comes to aerial duels. He won only 13.3% of his contested battles in 2021-22.
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Moreover, he only completed 34.3% of all duels, which speaks of improving his physicality as he grows older. The final area of his playing game is his crossing ability. Kalimuendo completed a measly 11.8% of his 17 attempted crosses.
However, that also speaks of the player’s positioning through the centre. He does not go down the flanks much, meaning he acts mostly as a target-man or a runner in behind the backline.
18 y-o Arnaud #Kalimuendo is improving at Lens:
9 games 🏟
4 goals ⚽️
PSG's considering to bring him back at the mother ship at the end of the season 🕵️♂️ pic.twitter.com/XmSR1aMpwX
— The Underrated Scout (@ScoutUnderrated) December 23, 2020
Kalimuendo was fouled 32 times in Ligue 1, meaning defenders can often have trouble stopping him. That can also be attributed to the fact that Kalimuendo completed 44.3% of his dribbles, a decent figure for a player in just his second senior season.
PSG know they have a rising star on their hands who is wanted in Europe. Despite not being known for developing young talents, the Parisians can make a change of approach under Luis Campos.
Arnaud Kalimuendo transfer news
It will be hard for Kalimuendo to get regular minutes in PSG’s star-studden lineup. Therefore, a move away or another loan spell could be on the cards.
However, Christophe Galtier remainsa fan of Kalimuendo, and he has been scoring in preseason too. Leeds United are said to be genuinely interested in bring the French youth product.
A loan move to another Ligue 1 club could be feasible too. However, PSG are in no rush to sell, and he could end up staying too. Therefore, it is clear that there are big things planned in the future.