Le50 2017 – Jean-Kévin Augustin
Jean-Kevin Augustin is a versatile and powerful attacking forward who can also be utilised out wide. What is also apparent fairly quickly is the slight edge to his game – that combination of confidence and swagger with almost a nastiness that all successful strikers need. Just ask Under-20s Italian goalkeeper Andrea Zaccagno, whom Augustin stared down (it has to be said, almost Balotelli-like) after firing a penalty past him in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup this summer.
Coupling this inherent self-belief with the ability to go past players and operate effectively on the shoulder of the last man, surely this would have been the season Augustin made his mark on Ligue 1? In short, the talented striker simply has not had the game time.
Beginning his youth career at FO Plaisir on the outskirts of Paris, Augustin went on to join Athletic Club de Boulogne-Billancourt before becoming a part of the Paris Saint-Germain youth setup in 2009. He has gone on to represent PSG B 38 times, scoring 22 goals, before breaking into the first team squad in 2015. It is here where opportunities to showcase his ability have been few and far between.
As a younger player in a star-studded squad, Augustin has yet to be given a run of games, with the likes of Edinson Cavani, Julian Draxler and Angel Di Maria ahead of him in the pecking order (understandably so). But one needs to ask if he will ever get a true shot at the big-spending Parisian club. This past season, Augustin made 10 Ligue 1 appearances, with a return of one goal and two assists spread over a total playing time of 189 minutes.
Not bad at all. However, this begs the question: should Augustin be given a run in the starting line-up and the chance to clock up some serious minutes on the pitch, would the return would be even greater? His performances in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup before France’s second round exit to Italy indicate that this would be the case. Three goals in four games is a healthy hit-rate (although it would have been four if not for a missed panenka-style penalty against Vietnam – another nod to the abundance of self-belief that Augustin possesses).
He also of course had happier memories of playing against Italy in the 2016 U19 Euro final, where he scored the opening goal in a 4-0 win, in a tournament where he was both top-scorer (six) and best player. And it was a beauty.
One only has to look at the meteoric rise of Kylian Mbappe this season to see what game-time and confidence can do for a young striker’s career, and it looks like a host of European clubs are willing to give Augustin this chance. Loan spells in the Premier League have been mentioned with apparent interest from Tottenham and West Ham, while there are also rumours of a transfer to Borussia Dortmund in the offing (a path trodden by fellow France Under-21 starlet and now full international Ousmane Dembele after his transfer from Rennes last year). It is clear, however that Paris Saint-Germain are unwilling to sell the talented forward permanently, with boss Unai Emery seemingly preferring a loan deal.
Either way, this is a big summer for Augustin with many opportunities for first-team football apparently on the table. Paris Saint-Germain will also be well aware that the development of one of their most promising young players depends on game-time and it is looking increasingly likely that a move of some kind will be required to achieve this. Augustin is definitely a player to keep an eye on this summer.
Since this profile was submitted, Augustin has completed a move to RB Leipzig on a five-year deal.