Paris Saint-Germain head coach Unai Emery says Jese Rodriguez must wait a little longer for his chance in the first team.
The 23-year-old – a €25million signing from Real Madrid in August – has endured a frustrating time in the French capital to date, making just three appearances this season, his last coming in the 6-0 win over Caen on September 16.
Emery said last month that Jese was still “lacking rhythm”, while reports this week have claimed that the former Spain youth international has struggled to settle in France.
And Emery seems not to be prepared to risk recalling Jese back into the first team for Saturday’s clash with Nancy, despite him having earned a rest during the international break.
“He’s been able to work well for two weeks. Jese needs to improve physically, adapt and wait for his opportunity,” Emery told a media conference.
Hatem Ben Arfa could be in line for a first start since the 1-1 draw with Saint-Etienne on September 11, however, with Emery saying he has been impressed with the winger’s recent efforts.
“Ben Arfa has worked well, I’m happy,” he said. “When he plays in a competitive match, I expect him to be good.”
Emery also hopes to have Edinson Cavani, Thiago Silva, Angel Di Maria and Marquinhos available despite their exertions in South America’s World Cup qualifying campaign in the past week, though he is ready to hand a start to Jean-Kevin Augustin if Cavani is not fully fit.
“We trained yesterday afternoon. The players were in shape. If things are good today, they will be ready for the game tomorrow,” he said.
“It’s important to see how the players are after international games, in which a lot of players were involved.
“Cavani’s last game was Tuesday – if he’s okay this afternoon [in training], he will play. But Augustin has worked well, he scored two for the [Under-21] national team [against Northern Ireland], and he could play after those performances.”
Emery expects a difficult game on the synthetic pitch at Stade Marcel Picot, but insists he is not worried about his side’s inconsistent form this term.
“We respect Nancy, they’re not easy to beat at home. They will play with aggression,” he added.
“The pitch is different but our players are used to it. They played on synthetic turf at Lorient. I don’t believe this is an excuse for us.
“It’s normal. Adaptation is a process that takes time. We know that we need to win, to have a good season in all competitions and to improve our position in the league. I’m optimistic about our goals.”
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