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Brighton & Hove Albion are set to go head to head with fellow Premier League sides West Ham United and Crystal Palace for the signature of Lille midfielder Ibrahim Amadou, according to a report from French outlet Le10 Sport (h/t talkSPORT).
The 24-year old was pursued heavily by both West Ham and Palace in the January transfer window but a move did not materialise. Both the London clubs are expected to go back in for Amadou in the summer and will now face added competition from Chris Hughton’s Seagulls.
With Amadou likely to spark a transfer frenzy between the three clubs, here we take a close look at who the midfielder really is and what he would bring to the table if signed by any of the three teams.
Born in Douala, Cameroon, on 6 April 1993, Amadou was raised in France where he grew up playing football with the academy of AS Nancy since 2008, having had spells with Cheminots de l’Ouest (2003-04) and RC Levallois 92 (2004-08) before.
Having worked his way up the youth ranks, Amadou broke into the Nancy II side in 2010 and three years later in 2013, he made his senior debut in a Ligue 2 game against AJ Auxerre. Having racked up 62 appearances for the club, in which he scored and assisted two goals each, the 24-year old was signed by Lille in the summer of 2015.
Amadou immediately became a key part of the Lille side and notched up 29 appearances across all competitions in his very first season with the club, scoring one goal and following it up with 41 appearances and 2 goals in the 2016/17 campaign. In the ongoing season, Amadou has been named the club captain for Lille and has gone on to feature 28 times across competitions, with no goals or assists to show for.
Eligible to play for both France and Cameroon at the international level, Amadou has represented the French U-19 side twice in the past and rejected a call-up from the Cameroonian senior national team.
A defensive midfielder by trade, who is equally at home playing in a central defensive role, Amadou has carved out a name for himself due to the defensive solidity that he brings to the team.
Standing at just a little over 6ft, Amadou might not be the biggest of defenders but still cuts an imposing presence at the back due to his immense strength and physicality. This physical nature of his gives him an edge when it comes to aerial duels, while it also enables him to win and shield possession effectively in the middle of the park.
The 24-year old is also a strong tackler and is not afraid to go into tackles and possesses the alertness and positioning sense needed to succeed in defence. What is more impressive though, is that Amadou is also an equally good passer of the ball and has played an average of 59.1 passes per 90 mins this season with a highly impressive accuracy of 87.5%.
A versatile player with good all-round abilities with his best years ahead of him, Amadou could prove to be a shrewd piece of business for any side that end up signing him. And with Lille languishing in the relegation zone in the Ligue 1, prying him away shouldn’t be a difficult task.