Five facts on rumoured Tottenham target Paul-Georges Ntep

Rennes Stade-Vilaine

Jack Beresford gives the lowdown on the Rennes striker linked with a move to Tottenham, according to Talksport.

With Tottenham on the hunt for a new striker this month, Talksport is reporting that the club are tracking Rennes striker Paul-Georges Ntep with a view to bidding for the Ligue 1 forward, but what do we know about the 22-year-old? Here are five facts on the rumoured Spurs target.

1. The Background

Full name Paul-Georges Ntep de Madiba, the striker was born in Douala, Cameroon and moved to France when he was eight, meaning he is eligible to play for either the Indomitable Lions or Les Bleus at international level.

France will be hoping he chooses the latter, with the Rennes man impressing thus far for the Under-21 side with nine goals in 15 appearances to date.

A product of the Auxerre youth academy, Ntep developed at the club responsible for producing Premier League stars like Abou Diaby, Djibril Cisse, Eric Cantona and Bacary Sagna amongst others.

Ntep established himself as a first-team regular during the 2012-13 season and went on to score 16 goals in 51 appearances for Auxerre in Ligue 2.

 

2. He could have been a Gunner

The youngster was reportedly the subject of some interest from Arsenal with several sources, including Sky Sports, claiming that the Gunners were keen on completing a deal for the forward during his time at previous club Auxerre.

Speaking about the reported interest at the time, Ntep told L'Equipe, quoted by the Daily Star: "Arsenal is a club that trusts young players. But it would all depend on the project.

"If it is going to a new club to remain on the bench, what is the improvement? I don't ask to be in the starting 11 of a big club immediately, but I could help in the not too long-term.

"If I have reached such a level now, it is because Auxerre offered me stability that allowed me to reach new levels.

"I don't forget. Nowadays you can be a much-demanded player and tomorrow the player everyone will laugh about."

3. Ntep seems keen on a move to London

Despite rumoured interest from Arsenal, the Daily Mail claims that Ntep actually came closer to signing for fellow Premier League London club Queens Park Rangers.

The story emerged after the striker was spotted by one eagle-eyed supporter in attendance at the R’s Championship clash with Huddersfield on January 18th 2014.

Three images, which were posted on the website 101GreatGoals.com, showed the striker at the ground and evidently there to see his potential new club in action.

Rangers went on to win 2-1 on the night with Charlie Austin netting twice to keep QPR in the hunt for automatic promotion, but despite their apparent interest a move failed to materialise with Ntep instead opting to remain in France and move up to Ligue 1 with Rennes.

 

4. He's something of a Ligue 1 rebel

The 22-year-old scored arguably the cheekiest goal in Ligue 1 history last season during Rennes’ clash with Reims at the Stade Auguste-Delaune II in May 2014.

With Rennes already leading 2-0, Ntep broke through the near nonexistent Reims defence, taking the ball past the on-rushing goalkeeper with a single touch, before dribbling all the way to the goal line.

He then stopped the ball, got down on his hands and knees and headed it into the goal to earn a special place in the hearts of Reims fans the world over and a place in YouTube history. 

5. Ntep can also be a liability

Though an undoubtedly talented player, Ntep still lacks experience and can be prone to episodes of ill-discipline as demonstrated during a Coupe de la Ligue clash with Marseille in October 2014.

Rennes had been trailing to L’OM for much of the game at the Stade de la Route de Lorient but on 60 minutes drew level through a goal from Anders Konradsen.

With the game carefully poised at 1-1, Ntep lost his cool and got involved in an altercation with opposing defender Brice Dja Djedje that saw both players red carded.

Rennes may have gone on to win the game with a last-gasp goal, but their triumph came in spite of Ntep rather than thanks to him.

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