Olympique de Marseille midfielder Florian Thauvin has impressed on-lookers this season with some strong performances.
Despite being a rather controversial character, Florian Thauvin has also received his fair share of praise.
Originally playing for Bastia, some impressive performances attracted the attentions of top French club Lille and Arsenal.
Two days before the January transfer window shut last season, the 21-year-old ended media speculation linking him to the Gunners by signing a four and a half year deal at Lille for a reported fee of €3.5m.
Speaking with the French press, Wenger comments that the player’s popularity in England is still very high, adding:
“It is true that we were interested in him before he spoke to Lille”
“For me, he is one of the great hopes of French football. He will go higher, he is only 21-years-old”
Florian Thauvin’s Lille career ended without him ever putting on the shirt. Last January he was immediately loaned back to Bastia - before announcing during the summer his intentions of leaving Lille.
Rather inexplicably, Thauvin decided to avoid going to training in order to push through a move to Marseille – which he finally completed at the beginning of September.
The 21-year-old midfielder – who only celebrated his birthday two days ago – has attracted Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea due to some fine performances for Marseille so far this campaign.
In 15 Ligue 1 starts, Thauvin has scored five goals and assisted a further three. The attacking midfielder has demonstrated his attacking ability on many occasions, completing 31 successful dribbles and totalling 47 shots for the season – more than any other Marseille player.
Likened to former Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri, his decision making and comments also show similar traits off the field too. Thauvin explained his decision back in September, saying:
"I don't have to justify myself,"
"I know what I did and why I did it. Sometimes things happen internally that the public is not aware of."
It remains unlikely that Jose Mourinho or Arsene Wenger will try and bring the player to the Premier League this week – however a summer move is could on the cards if past experiences are to be repeated and Thauvin attempts to force an exit.
image: © ronmacphotos