In the past, Olympique Lyonnais has provided many a star to the Premier League. Michael Essien and Florent Malouda at Chelsea, and Hugo Lloris at Tottenham Hotspur to name but a few. There is now a new star breaking through, and with Spurs looking for more attacking options, it won’t be long until 21-year-old Nabil Fekir is linked with a move to the Premier League.
Now, especially as the forward is being likened to both Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben. Bernard Lacombe, the special advisor to Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas was full of praise in L'Equipe for the Lyon youngster after OL’s 5-1 win over Montpellier.
“There is no other player in France that can play this position. Passers, other players, don’t have his range of tricks. There’s something special, particularly about left-football players, like Messi, like Robben.”
This is only Fekir’s second season with the Lyon first-team, after a handful of starts last season he is beginning to make his mark on the starting XI, with four goals and an assist this campaign after playing only seven games.
He missed three games with a shoulder injury after the 2-0 win over Rennes, Lyon lost all three games. Since his return they are unbeaten, including the 1-1 draw at Paris Saint-Germain.
Fekir scored in his first game back against Monaco, added two in the 4-0 win over Lorient – one with his left, one with his right – and was spectacular in the 5-1 win over Montpellier.
In Hubert Fournier’s 4-4-2 midfield diamond, Fekir started in the No. 10 role, but with Yoann Gourcuff back in the side, he has moved forward to partner Alexandre Lacazette and the impact has been terrifying for the Ligue 1 defenders.
Lille travelled to Lyon with the best defence in the country, they left having conceded the same amount of goals they had all season. Fekir gave the back four a torrid time in Lyon’s 3-0 win.
This weekend they face Marseille at home, with Marcelo Bielsa’s side having won eight in a row this season. If Fekir can help OL past Marseille, the Messi comparisons might start to become a regular occurrence.
Watching the young attacker play, with his pace, guile and appetite to constantly take on opponents, you can see exactly what Lacombe is talking about. Premier League interest is almost guaranteed.
Tottenham have been linked with Wissam Ben Yedder and Andre-Pierre Gignac in recent weeks, they would do well to add Nabil Fekir to their list of targets.