Numbers 31-35 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 31-35.
Salomon Kalou – Lille OSC
Suggested Clubs: West Ham United, West Brom, Swansea
The Ivorian international finished as Lille’s top goal scorer last season, but the Lille fans expect more, and they would be right.
Outside of the 16 goals he scored, he offered very little as a teammate. Too often caught out of possession. Far too often making the wrong decision on a fast break.
Kalou is much better as a small fish in a big pond, not a mediocre fish in a small pond. Not good enough to be the star, but too egotistical to play the underdog. The Premier League is perfect for him.
He can still finish should an opportunity come his way, and he is good with the ball at his feet. Never going to be the player the Lille fans want him to be.
Dimitri Payet – Marseille
Suggested Clubs: West Ham United, Crystal Palace, Southampton
After moving from Lille to Marseille for €9 million, it looks like OM have put him back on the market after only 12 months.
Although he has played well during this pre-season, new coach Marcelo Bielsa obviously just doesn’t rate the French winger.
Dimitri Payet has all the quality that you look for in a winger, he’s quick, good with the ball, has pace and loves to come tearing in from the left to have a shot of goal.
His direct style would suit the Premier League. Swansea were particularly close to doing a deal, but they went in a different direction and now other clubs could offer him a way out at Marseille.
Henri Saivet – Bordeaux
Position: Winger: Centre-Forward
Suggested Clubs: Hull City, Aston Villa
Henri Saivet once had the mis-fortune of being the “Next Henry” after the former Arsenal and France star, Thierry Henry. Now he has grown up, it is not easy to see the likenesses.
Saivet’s game is more based on power than grace. Both are good on the ball, but the Bordeaux man has developed away from that Henry style.
Although he can play as the lone striker, he is better coming off the flank and making darting runs into the box. He uses his good timing to get into the right place at the right-time and his aerial prowess to attack the ball.
It may be time for a change of scenery for the 23-year-old after only finding the net 14 times in two seasons.
Lucas Deaux – FC Nantes
Suggested Clubs: Southampton, West Ham United, Everton
Lucas Deaux is FC Nantes’ fireball of energy in the centre of midfield. Deaux is the engine to the FCN ship and without them they wouldn’t have enjoyed a wonderful start to last season.
He is a very tough competitor, but a very fair one too. He also made more passes last season than any other player on the FCN squad list. Deaux is the man that makes it all happen for Les Canaris and they would be gutted to let the 25-year-olf.
Younousse Sankhare – Guingamp
Suggested Clubs: Burnley, Leicester City, Hull City
This Guingamp midfielder is the archetypal central midfielder in Ligue 1. Younousse Sankhare is tall, well-built, and strong with long legs that can cover the whole pitch with ease.
In the heart of the Guingamp midfield, Sankhare was the lynchpin that brought their great organisation together, and then he also added three goals and three assists in their survival campaign.
He was key part of the run that saw Guingamp lift the Coupe de France last season and he would be perfect for any team trying to survive in the Premier League.