Things are getting exciting this summer, at least if you consider getting linked with every single freaking player on the planet and not signing anyone whatsoever to be an exciting state for our beloved club.
The latest player we’re linked with is Lille’s new golden boy Sofiane Boufal, a player who is drawing comparisons to another man we’ve imported from the French club and that would of course be Eden Hazard. The Guardian reports the following quote from the player’s agent, regarding a summer move:
“We did have a meeting with the leadership of FC Barcelona in the last few weeks. There is an interest. Now the reflection is whether Sofiane Boufal will go to Barcelona to compete with MSN (Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar) or should he go to a club where he is going to start matches and express his exceptional talent.”
“We have also initiated discussions with three other clubs that interest us, but they either have or will change their coach or the coach is in charge of a national team at the Euros. In England, there is interest, but the English market is just beginning. A transfer of 20 and 25 million euros is not resolved in two weeks, of course.”
So the two clubs clearly mentioned are us and Barca, and I would guess the others are one or both of the Manchester clubs and/or PSG. While they might not be the easiest of clubs to compete with, we could try and capitalize on their indecisiveness and the fact that we have a couple of very successful Ligue 1 imports in Zouma and Hazard.
Boufal has been bought from Angers, his very first club, in the winter of 2015 for only 4 million Euros and has had a stellar season playing mainly on the left and in the centre and showcasing blistering pace and scary technique-hence the Hazard comparisons.
How much we need the 22 year-old is however debatable. Our strike force has not been our weakest point this season, far from it and especially after Mourinho left the club and Diego found his head and feet again. It is however enticing to see whether the Morrocan can finally be the man who could be our Hazard on the right, and it may help that we would be buying him from the same place where we bought the Belgian.
The price is very encouraging as well, and would not really-or rather should not really- influence other transfers. It remains to be seen whether Conte actually wants Boufal; at 170 meters tall and with his best skills being dribbling and shooting, he is very much a luxury player, but didn’t Conte leave Juventus because they were unable to get him enough luxury players?
The deal sounds generally good, and I would not imagine having no Champions League football would be too big a hurdle, so if we can talk young Sofiane into joining us, then he would be a positive addition to kick-start next season’s revolution.