Newcastle had a bid accepted for the young forward by Reims over the summer but he instead opted to join PSG on loan.

And his time at the Ligue 1 champions so far has been difficult as he’s had to be patient to make his first start while also being subject to criticism in France.

The 20-year-old’s attitude and maturity have already been called into question as he had to wait to make his first competitive start for the club.

Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Hugo Ekitike (C) and Nice’s Dutch midfielder Pablo Rosario fight for the ball during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and OGC Nice at The Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris on October 1, 2022. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Having been limited to substitute cameos, Ekitike was finally handed his full PSG debut by manager Christophe Galtier against Nice on Saturday.

Ekitike lined-up alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar in attack at Parc des Princes. Messi gave the hosts a 1-0 lead at half-time before Gaetan Laborde equalised for Nice shortly after the restart.

Ekitike was then replaced by Kylian Mbappe just before the hour mark, a player who would go on to score a late winner as the match ended 2-1.

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“It was important for me to get him started with players like Ney and Leo,” Galtier said. “It was his first tenure.

“Obviously he does not have the benchmarks and the technical relationship that other players may have. Of course, we take Kylian as a reference.

“But on what I asked him, he was very good. He made a lot of effort. He was also quite good technically.”

Galtier then offered some constructive criticism aimed at Ekitike as he added: “I simply asked him at the break to be a little more present in the penalty area because, as much between the lines, he is good but he must also be very present in the penalty area.

“He was there but a few times not when we had interesting situations. He put in a lot of effort, he had played very little until now.

“I am very happy that he was able to start and that he was able to have an hour of play to take in the atmosphere of the Park but also what a match with PSG represents, with the players who make up the squad and with this obligation of victory. Paris is an obligation to win.”

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