With both Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion under new management, it is no surprise to see them linked with a number of players. Every club is always looking for someone to put the ball in the back of the net, and Foot Mercato in France reported on Saturday that Jonathan Kodjia of Angers was on the radar of both Premier League clubs.
Here are five facts about the 25-year-old forward:
1. Kodjia was born in the Saint-Denis area of northern Paris, just a few kilometres from the Stade de France, home of the French national team. He was spotted by Stade de Reims playing in the local district leagues when he was 19 years old.
2. After only playing nine games for Reims over three years, he spent most of his time out on loan. He fared much better for Cherbourg and Amiens, scoring 17 goals over two years, but it was at SM Caen that he started to blossom.
On loan at Ligue 2 side Caen, Kodjia scored five times as the Normand side won promotion to Ligue 1. His chances in the team were reduced when Fode Koita joined the club from Montpellier, but he still made 27 appearances.
This summer, Kodjia made a permanent move away from Reims, signing for Ligue 2 side Angers, and he hasn’t looked back. In just 19 games the forward has scored 12 goals and is playing the best football of his career.
3. In Week 19, Kodjia was superb, scoring a hat-trick against AS Nancy – who were only one point above Angers at the time. That was the first time in his professional career that he had scored three times in the one game, and no doubt it caught the eye of a few on-looking scouts.
4. Kodjia is comfortable playing all over the front line. He can play as the lone centre-forward, but can also come off the wing, using his power and pace to cause defences numerous problems.
5. If Kodjia were to leave Angers this month, it would mean the Ligue 1 club have lost both their best attacking talents this month. Sofiane Boufal moved on a €4 million deal to Lille and with Kodjia’s contract up in 2016, they may see this as the best time to cash in.