Numbers 21-25 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 21-25.
Maxime Gonalons – Lyon
Suggested Clubs: Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton
Lyon’s club captain has been set for a move away from the French side for about two years now. Napoli were heavily interested in the winter and it’s clear to see why.
Calm and composed on the ball, a player that gives his all to protect the defence. Gonalons’ game is more about anticipation than getting into a scrap.
He is a very intelligent player, at 25 years old it is time to move on. Arsenal would be a great move if they don’t do a deal for Sami Khedira.
Andre-Pierre Gignac – Marseille
Suggested Clubs: Newcastle United, Stoke City, Aston Villa
Over the past two seasons in Marseille, Andre-Pierre Gignac has scored 29 goals in Ligue 1. He has been linked with moves to England a couple of times, and now with the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa at OM, now could be the perfect time for a move.
Big, strong, quickness on the ball and a poacher’s eye for a goal, Gignac is everything a Premier League team would want in a striker.
He needs games to stay fit, a few weeks without a game and he looks heavy, but when he is match fit he is an absolute nightmare for defenders.
Benjamin Corgnet – Saint-Etienne
Suggested Clubs: Sunderland, Everton, Crystal Palace
When he played at Dijon, Benjamin Corgnet was linked with a move to Newcastle United. He stayed at the Burgundy club and his rise has been rapid.
From Dijon to Lorient and now at Saint-Etienne, Corgnet has carved out a reputation as a top box-to-box midfielder. He can score from distance; he can make well-timed runs into the box and finish like a striker.
Actually, there’s not much Corgnet can’t do on the pitch. He can also pass and tackle with the best of them. Definitely a much underrated player.
Daniel Wass – Evian TG
Position: Left/Right-Midfield, Left/Right-Back
Suggested Clubs: Swansea, Southampton, Sunderland
Part of the strong Danish contingent taking over Ligue 1, Daniel Wass is easily one of the most underrated. Without his on pitch contributions, Evian would have surely gone down to Ligue 2 last season.
His season was summed up by the wonderful volleyed goal against Sochaux on the final day of the season. It silenced the home crowd and all but secured their safety.
Wass is fast, intelligent, skillful on the ball and can play pretty much anywhere on the pitch. He is at his best when allowed to attack down either wing. Far too good for Evian, he would be an excellent low risk signing.
Aissa Mandi – Stade de Reims
At the 2014 World Cup, Aissa Mandi got a taste of the action for Algeria, but wasn’t able to start every game. He has impressed at Stade de Reims over the past two seasons and is becoming an excellent young right-back.
In fact, he can play on either side: he is comfortable with the ball at his feet and has a knack for timing his tackles to perfection.
He may need to bulk up over the next few years, but there is nothing to stop Mandi becoming a top-notch defender.
Which of these players would you like your club to sign?