Numbers 1-5 of 50 players from Ligue 1 that Premier League teams should be targeting this summer.
Every season the Premier League plunders France for some of its most prominent talent. This year has been no different. Remy Cabella and Emmanuel Rivière have joined Newcastle United, Bafetimbi Gomis made the jump to Swansea and Ligue 1 graduate Mathieu Debuchy upgrade to a place in Arsenal’s starting lineup.
Premier Leagues always look across the channel, and usually they find some excellent value for money. For every £30 million spent on Luke Shaw, you will find £8 million to invest in a player like Serge Aurier.
Over the next five days we will bring you 50 Ligue 1 players that the Premier League should be targeting for the new season. In no particular order, here are numbers 1-5.
Layvin Kurzawa – AS Monaco
Monaco’s left-back fired himself to the top of Europe’s wanted lists after some superb performances in Ligue 1. His youth days as a forward showed in his play as he burst forward at every opportunity to create multiple chances.
With five goals and three assists in his first full season Kurzawa is an excellent prospect and will be a sure bet for the France national team in the next 12 months. Any side that is looking for an excellent young attacking full-back should take a look at the 21-year-old.
Samuel Umtiti – Lyon
Position: Centre-Back, Left-Back
Suggested Clubs: Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton
For too long Samuel Umtiti’s talents were wasted at left-back, but last season he gained more experience in the centre and the 20-year-old was one of the bright spots in what was an inconsistent season for Lyon.
Umtiti is great in the air, quick along the ground, reads the game fairly well with his ability to play all across the back-line.
Physically strong enough for the Premier League and with Lyon always looking for a good deal, there is a good player to be had for the right bid.
Vincent Aboubakar – FC Lorient
Suggested Clubs: Newcastle United, Arsenal, Stoke City
Vincent Aboubakar’s career was at a crossroads before his free transfer to Lorient. He had failed to impress at Valenciennes despite having all the raw materials that you’d look for in a striker.
Height, strength, pace and an all-round appetite for goals, he is the perfect archetype of a potential young superstar.
This season at Lorient it all came together. He scored 16 goals and looked every part the potential Premier League star in the making. If a club is looking for a Romelu Lukaku type powerful striker you could do a lot worse than Aboubakar.
Henri Bedimo – Lyon
Suggested Clubs: Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United
Henri Bedimo may be 30 years old, but he is one of the most exciting, direct and productive left-backs in France. He racked up 10 assists in his first season for Lyon, making the seamless move from Montpellier.
The Cameroonian defender was influential as La Paillade won the Ligue 1 title in 2011/12. Lyon could sell for a decent £3 million bid and the lucky club would be adding an experienced defender who can perform at both ends of the pitch.
Ezequiel Lavezzi - Paris Saint-Germain
Position: Winger, Left-Midfield
Suggested Clubs: Manchester United, Liverpool
Last season was a mixed campaign for Ezequiel Lavezzi. Before the New Year he was struggling for goals, but in 2014 he scored seven of his nine league goals and was a huge influence on Paris Saint-Germain’s run to the Champions League quarter-finals.
He may not be the best passer of the ball, and needs to improve his end product, but he offers pace, directness and an incredible work-rate. The Premier League would be the perfect fit for the Argentine winger.