Meet the Ligue 1 stars who could be Premier League-bound this summer
Nick Murphy | 2 August 2018
The transfer market is hotting up
Ligue 1 has become a popular shopping destination for Premier League clubs in the last decade. Arsenal and Newcastle United, in particular, have made a habit of completing business across the channel.
Some people argue that the French market has become saturated in the search for genuine quality. But the Coral News Team disagrees. Here are five top-flight Ligue 1 stars who could make the switch this summer.
Liverpool began their pursuit of Lyon ace Nabil Fekir almost two months ago. Jurgen Klopp thought he had his man, only for the 25-year-old to fail his Anfield medical, thus killing the deal stone dead.
Except recent murmurs suggest a switch could be back on. Both club and player remain keen on move, and we already know his current employers are happy for the midfielder to leave. After bagging 18 goals in 29 league matches last season, could he be the final piece in the puzzle for the Reds?
English clubs love signing Ligue 1 forwards. Djibril Cisse, Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud have all made the switch since the turn of the millennium. Mariano didn’t quite top the charts last term. But 18 goals in 34 matches is a more than healthy return.
Goalscorers are a precious commodity in the Premier League. And with the striker’s impressive all-round-play, he would undoubtedly be a good fit for a number of top-flight clubs. West Ham United and Crystal Palace both lack a focal point up-front, which could make Mariano an ideal – and affordable – target.
Flying full-backs are in-vogue all across Europe. So it should be something of a surprise that Montpellier star Jerome Roussillon has gone under the radar. The ex-Sochaux man is blessed with incredible pace and an innate ability to read the game.
Everton and Leicester City have both been linked with a move for the defender, who is in the last year of his contract at Stade de la Mosson. Both clubs will prioritise playing on the counter-attack this season, which would undoubtedly lend itself to Roussillon’s game.
Centre-half Diego Carlos was imperious at centre-half for Nantes last season. The Brazilian defender helped his side to the second best defensive record in Ligue 1, statistics bettered only by eventual champions Paris Saint-Germain.
The 25-year-old has all of the qualities to succeed in the Premier League, too. He reads the game, can play the ball and dominates in the air. Laurent Koscielny appears to be coming to the end of his time at Arsenal. Diego looks more than capable of being the man to fill the void.
Could ex-West Ham United man Dimitri Payet really make a dramatic return to the Premier League? Reports last month suggested the enigmatic playmaker could be on his way back to the London Stadium.
His silky play and ability to unlock a defence would be valued by most top-flight sides. But it’s difficult to see where the 31-year-old could end up. He’s already burnt bridges at West Ham. And he’s not quite good enough to break into a top-six side.
Could that make Fulham or Wolverhampton Wanderers a potential destination? Both may be new to the Premier League this season but crucially they do have the cash to match Payet’s financial desires. Craven Cottage, in particular, seems a perfect fit for the midfielder’s talents alongside the likes of Ryan Sessegnon and Jean Michael Seri. The Cottagers’ London presence could also be a deciding factor.
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