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Could Adryan follow Max Gradel in becoming a Ligue 1 star?

How will Adryan fare on swapping Leeds United for Nantes?

Former Leeds United loanee Adyran’s arrival in France has been greeted with considerable fanfare, with newspaper L’Equipe branding the young Brazilian the ‘next Zico’.

Hyperbole? Of course it is. But there is a good chance the 20-year-old could put his disappointing spell at Elland Road behind him and succeed in Ligue 1. In fact he could yet follow in the footsteps of another former Leeds player, if one whose time in England was considerably more successful.

Max Gradel played 82 matches for Leeds, scoring 25 goals and providing 15 assists to become a fan favourite. But it was not until last season that his form reached an entirely different level.

Back in 2011, the Ivory Coast international made it clear that he wanted to stay at Leeds, but soon after he was sold to Saint-Etienne and despite seeing some of his time there ruined by a cruciate ligament injury, he has ultimately proved to be a wonderful signing.

Last season the former Leeds star was phenomenal, returning from the Africa Cup of Nations to score 13 goals in 12 matches and prove emphatically that he is now playing the best football of his career.

Seven years Gradel’s junior, Adryan has a lot of football ahead of him before he can match the former’s achievements, but the simple fact is France has been good for the Ivorian and it can be good for the Brazilian, too.

Adryan’s skill-set was not cut out for a Championship relegation battle (which Leeds were in at the time), and it will be interesting to see how he does at his current loan club Nantes.

Perhaps he will be the next Zico, or perhaps he will fall flat, or perhaps, much like Gradel, he will be his own man, a success story for which his time at Leeds was only the opening chapter.

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