Younes Belhanda of Montpellier has been linked with both North London clubs recently. But where will he end up?
Once the season finished that often guarded approach footballers have with the press seems to dissipate rapidly. This phenomenon is particularly prevalent when players are away with the national teams and Olivier Giroud has been speaking in candidly relaxed terms with French paper L’Equipe; whilst in Uruguay on international duty for France.
While the gist of his conversation was on how he felt his first year in the Premier League transpired the subject matter soon changed to old friends; and the chances of welcoming one to the Premier League:
The player he was talking about was former Montpellier play-maker Younes Belhanda. The Moroccan international was the star of the Montpellier team that won Ligue 1 in 2012 and after a less successful season this time out in the south of France he is all set to leave the club in the summer.
The usually prickly club chairman Louis Nicollin even confirmed such a month ago:
‘’The door is open for Younes to find a bigger club. I don’t know where he’ll go yet but he wants to leave. I want at least £8million for him.’’
But where exactly does Giroud intend on welcoming him with open arms?
Because while his club Arsenal have shown considerable interest in his talents before; it is in fact their North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur who have been strongly linked with his signature over the past month.
And at £8million you can understand why; for a player with this much natural talent it is an absolute bargain deal.
Of course Giroud would probably prefer to see him arrive at The Emirates this summer but in the interview he only mentioned Belhanda’s desire to come to the Premier League; with no specifics on his intended destination.
But before telling him it was all roses on our shores he also had some keen advice for the 23-year-old:
‘’He would just have to work a bit athletically to be able to handle the physical impact of the tackles."
But with the blessing of a friend Belhanda is now far more likely to arrive in the Premier League this summer and it looks increasingly like his destination will be North London.
The only question that remains is … Arsenal or Spurs?
Would you like Belhanda at your club next season?
image: © elnaimmi