Timothy Weah: The American’s Striving to Create His Own Legacy

Being George Weah’s son is always going to come with a weight of expectation. The now 54-year-old was thrice named the African Footballer of the Year, and he won the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1995, beating Jurgen Klinsmann and Paolo Maldini to the honor. Although Timothy Weah has yet to reach those levels, he’s already won four league titles at just 21 years of age, just one less than his dad. So, let’s consider if he can surpass his father’s tally of domestic trophies.

Achieving the Unexpected with Lille

In July 2019, Timothy Weah joined Lille from Paris Saint-Germain for around $12.2 million. Unfortunately for the 21-year-old, his first season at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy was blighted by injuries, as he made just three appearances in 2019-20. Following his recovery, he fell behind Burak Yilmaz in the pecking order, and the Turkish forward fired Lille to title-winning success in 2020-21. As of June 7th, Turkey is +6600 in Euro 2020 odds to win the competition and no doubt the 35-year-old will hope to continue his form into the European Championships.

Despite Yilmaz being the starting striker for the club’s former manager, Christophe Galtier, Timothy Weah still featured on 28 occasions for Les Dogues. In 21 of those matches, he entered the fray from the bench, although he did chip in with some vital contributions when on the field. The American scored three league goals in 2020-21, two of which helped Lille record much-needed victories over Dijon and Montpellier. However, he only played through the middle on 14 occasions, with Galtier deploying him from the flanks in half of his appearances.

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Vindicated in His Decision to Leave PSG

Following Lille’s unexpected success in 2020-21, Timothy Weah now has four league titles to his name. The 21-year-old won back-to-back Ligue 1 championships with PSG between 2017 and 2019, while he also clinched the Scottish Premiership during a six-month loan move to Celtic in 2018-19. By comparison, George Weah twice lifted the Serie A title with AC Milan. Furthermore, he also picked up Ligue 1 and Liberian Premier League trophies with PSG, Mighty Barrolle, and Invincible Eleven, respectively.

From an individual standpoint, Timothy Weah has a long way to go before he matches his dad’s level, but he’s on course to surpass George Weah’s tally of league titles. While few expected Lille to win Ligue 1 in 2020-21, they’ll face an even trickier task to defend their crown in 2021-22. That said, the 21-year-old is part of a dangerous Les Dogues squad, and if he gets more opportunities to play through the middle, he can help fire the reigning champions to back-to-back triumphs. Moreover, leaving PSG appeared to be a brave decision, but toppling his old side’s domestic reign of dominance has undoubtedly vindicated his decision to depart the Parc des Princes.

Plenty of Time to Develop

At just 21 years of age, Timothy Weah has time to create his own legacy. While he’ll likely always be in George Weah’s shadow, that doesn’t mean that he can’t continue to enjoy a trophy-winning career at the highest level. In the short term, the American’s versatility will serve him well as he looks to continue his development and break into the Lille side in 2021-22.

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About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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