Throughout the 2014/15 Ligue 1 Season, a young trio of French attackers took the French national football league by storm and set alight the interest of Europe’s top clubs. Olympique Lyon’s duo of Alexandre Lacazette and Nabil Fekir, both products of Lyon’s youth setup, began the 2014/15 season with many people unexpected of what the next 10 months held for the French internationals, meanwhile, by May 2015, we all knew who these two footballers were and we knew exactly what they were capable of. However, having already discussed Lacazette in an earlier article of mine, this piece is all about Nabil Fekir, the young, skilful and pacey Lyon forward who has an eye for goal, and will no doubt become a very successful and notable player in French football history.
Nabil Fekir played at a number of clubs as a youth player and eventually joined Lyon in 2005, however he left in 2007 but returned to the French club in 2011 when he played 2 years for them, until he was eventually promoted to Lyon’s ‘B’ team. He signed his first official contract with Lyon in 2013 and commenced his time with the first team from the beginning of the 2013/14 season. In his first season with Lyon, he only managed to play 6 games in total, all in Ligue 1 and scored one goal along with two assists. However in his second season, which was 2014/15, he played 37 games in all competitions, scoring 16 goals and getting 9 assists, which is a major overhaul for a 21 year old. Many of his assists ended up on the end of French compatriot Alexandre Lacazette, who is said to be a potential target for many of Europe’s big clubs. But you may be wondering, what makes Fekir so special?
Fekir can be utilised very well, he can play as an attacking midfielder in the number 10 spot and he is also capable of playing as a striker, either solo or teamed up. The French National Team’s head coach had this to say after rewarding Nabil with his first senior call up to France, “Fekir is a player with great potential. I consider that he can bring us something different. He plays in a different role to the others. He can score and set up others to score“. Fekir has so far played 4 times for France, even getting himself a goal and an assist, very good for his first few games, and he is even on course to feature at Euro 2016, with France being the host nation of the upcoming championship.
So, who is interested in Nabil? Many rumours are circulating and the Frenchman could apparently be on his way to Arsenal. Arsene Wenger has a good eye for French talent, after making the signings of Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires, it could be Fekir who makes his way to the Emirates, and although many current Arsenal fans may be unsatisfied with this potential signing, all you have to do is watch back at his highlights and look at his outstanding stats from the 2014/15 season and I am pretty sure you will change your mind. I am pretty sure every top European club would welcome the chance to have a player like Fekir in their squad, so Arsenal should count themselves very lucky if they can muster up a deal for the very promising youngster.
In terms of where the young Frenchman could play on the pitch, he was utilised quite frequently last season. After starting off as a centrally based attacking midfielder, Lyon’s head coach Hubert Fournier decided to try Fekir as a striker, and along with fellow countryman Alexandre Lacazette, the duo ended up working a treat. The pair racked up a combined total of 40 goals and 14 assists. Not bad for two youngsters who aren’t so used to playing up front together. Although the overall season performance of Lyon was second to none, they unfortunately finished a very close second to Paris Saint Germain, trailing by just 8 points. But it isn’t all doom and gloom as they bagged themselves a Champions League spot with the prospect of pushing for the title in the upcoming season not that far ahead of them.
So to conclude, I hope that whoever reads this can find the time to look into Nabil Fekir and just maybe catch an interest in him as within probably the next 2 to 3 years, you will be hearing a lot more about him and may just thank me in the long term! To say what is next for the Frenchman is beyond all of us, but wherever he ends up by the beginning of the 2015/16 season, be it with a new club or with his current club Olympique Lyon, he is set to bring something special, without a doubt.
Article written by: @KailemSims3