Olympique Lyon attacker Nabil Fekir has been a subject of interest for a lot of big clubs with English giants Arsenal being his biggest admirers. But the Frenchman recently poured cold water over the Gunners’ aspirations of signing him, saying that he would prefer a move to the Spanish La Liga ahead of the Premier League.
“I like Spain. It’s a league where they play good football. That’s the league I prefer. After that, England and Germany are good. I like Italy a bit less,” the 23-year old said in an interview recently.
The claims have put a lot of clubs on alert, with UEFA Champions League holders Real Madrid taking an interest in Fekir. The Lyon forward has made no secret about the fact that he would love to play for the eleven-time Champions League winners last year. “If tomorrow he (Zinedine Zidane) calls me, I would never refuse him,” Fekir told French TV Show Canal Football Club in February 2016.
This statement came after the current Real Madrid manager had praised the forward as an “incredible player”, after Fekir had gone on to win the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award.
And now, the Los Galacticos are reportedly considering Fekir as an alternative for their main summer target Eden Hazard. The 23-year-old’s stock has been ever rising and it is claimed that Zidane now wants to bring him to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Having broken into the Lyon first-team setup back in 2013, Fekir truly arrived on the scenes in the 2014-15 campaign, when he finished the season with a whopping 15 goals and 13 assists from 39 games across all competitions. However, a knee cruciate ligament injury meant he had to spend most of the last season on the sidelines, making just 9 appearances from which he scored four times.
The 7-time capped French international has made 28 appearances for Lyon this season across all competitions netting 6 goals and getting six assists to his name. Fekir, who is primarily a centre-forward, has been utilized by Lyon in various roles across the attacking third and he has excelled in any position he has featured.
Excellent with the ball at his feet and a marvellous finisher, Fekir has displayed all the necessary traits to become one of the finest attacking players in the game. A goal-threat from long distance and set-pieces, the 23-year old has also shown the creative side of his game, creating chances and assisting goals in plenty for his teammates, with his eye for a keen pass and ability to pick out his peers in dangerous areas. He possesses the pace and the skills with the ball to destroy oppositions and given his versatility, he could be a huge asset for Madrid if captured.
Madrid, in recent weeks, have hit a snag and are finding it hard to keep up their level of performances and injuries to key men from the squad hasn’t aided the Merengues as they go about mounting a title challenge. Karim Benzema has been found wanting in recent weeks while Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t scoring with the regularity that is expected from him.
Furthermore, Gareth Bale is still out injured and huge question marks remain hanging over the futures of Alvaro Morata, James Rodriguez and Isco. That leaves Lucas Vazquez and young Marco Asensio as the only other options for Madrid in the final-third of the pitch, making the addition of an attacker in the summer of paramount importance.
And Fekir fits the bill perfectly for Madrid. Young, versatile and immensely talented, the 23-year old will bring a lot of value to the club. The Frenchman is endowed with all the qualities that could make him a huge star in the future and if an opportunity presents itself, Zidane and Real Madrid should definitely make a move for the 23-year old.