It was clear to see from the very beginning that Marcus Thuram was a man immune to pressure.
When a fresh-faced 21-year-old stepped up in stoppage time during Guingamp’s Coupe de la Ligue quarter-final clash with Paris Saint-Germain in January 2019, players ten years his senior could be forgiven for feeling weak at the knees.
But, with 93 minutes on the clock, Thuram fired home the most composed of penalties to knock the kings of French football off their throne.
That, by the way, was the first time PSG had lost a domestic cup fixture in five years.
Thuram struck that infamous spot-kick with the kind of nerveless precision that has become his trademark during the past year and a half.
However, when you consider this is the son of legendary French defender Lillian Thuram, it’s safe to assume the Parma-born forward has had plenty of practice when it comes to dealing with weight of expectation.
The new Thierry Henry?
It’s hard to imagine Thuram, blessed with supreme self-confidence and the ability to back it up, failing to follow in the footsteps of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and, latterly, Diogo Jota at Anfield.
Especially with legendary figures such as Arsene Wenger, who compares Thuram to a young Thierry Henry, singing his praises.
But as long as the now 23-year-old keeps producing moments of match-winning magic like he did when PSG were left humbled and humiliated, it won’t be long before Thuram is a target for Europe’s biggest and brightest once more.
According to BILD, Barcelona and Real Madrid are tracking Thuram after his stunning brace against Zinedine Zidane’s side in last week’s 2-2 Champions League draw.
And Thuram’s own annus mirabilis continued this week when his fine form was rewarded with a first call-up for the French national team.
“I’ve been following Marcus for a while now. He has an interesting profile,” World Cup-winning coach Didier Deschamps explains.
“He was already doing good things with Guingamp and now he’s reached the next level. He makes things happen going forward. He’s powerful, scores goals, gives assists and he’s very often decisive in the big games.
“This is why I called him up.
“Obviously he’s the son of a (France legend). I think it should make his dad very happy. Marcus deserves (the call-up) purely because of what he has done on the pitch. And he can still improve.”
Gladbach paid £10 million to sign Thuram from Guingamp last year. If his rapid rise continues, the ‘new Thierry Henry’ will cost closer to £100 million when the time comes to say goodbye.