Manchester United opinion: Scout Report on Mathis Rayan Cherki
Olympique Lyonnais over the last few years have quietly been producing a rather steady stream of incredible French talent. Ferland Mendy, Houssem Aouar, Karim Benzema, Nabil Fekir, Alexandre Lacazette, Lucas Tousart, Corentin Tolisso, Alassane Plea, and so many others join that list.
Not just that, the club has proved to be a breeding ground for players looking to resurrect their career. From Memphis Depay, Tanguy Ndombele, Hugo Lloris, Miralem Pjanic, Eric Abidal and Mariano Diaz, they all arrived at the club as unrealised talents but become world beaters at Lyon.
If reports are to believed, then yet another Olympique Lyon super starlet has been discovered.
Mathis Rayan Cherki is a 15-year-old attacking midfielder considered to be Nabil Fekir’s long-term heir and more importantly, the boy is already playing U-19 football. It shows just how good the young Frenchman is, with the Telegraph reporting that a few sides have taken a keen interest.
Manchester United has also joined the race, alongside Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and even Juventus. That alone should have a few fans excited at just how good the 15-year-old is and Cherki has already established himself in France.
Here is everything you need to know about Mathis Rayan Cherki
Current Club – Olympique Lyonnais
Position – Attacking midfielder
A diamond in the rough, Mathis Rayan Cherki has so much potential. He is onsidered by fans and critics alike to be the best French prospect in his age group.
To top it all off, he’s considered to have a higher ceiling than every single Olympique Lyonnais alumni – past or present. That is a list that includes Hatem Ben Arfa, Nabil Fekir, Samuel Umtiti, Alexander Lacazette, Houssem Aouar and so many others. The claim alone shows how talented the young midfielder is but then again so was Ben Arfa.
And his career path has clearly not gone according to plan, which is why Mathis Rayan Cherki will have to go down a different path. The 15-year-old has shown great mental strength to be playing with the U-19s.
But his potential and talent surpass the former PSG man. Like Ben Arfa, Cherki is a versatile attacking midfielder and one who has often been utilized either further forward or out wide.
But it’s as a traditional number 10 that the young starlet really flourishes, using a combination of agility, quick feet and an equally quick brain to help him beat players. He glides across the field, reminiscent of a young and fearless Kaka when he joined AC Milan.
That’s not where the similarities stop with Cherki built quite similarly and possessing the same confidence that the Brazilian had. Not just that, he has a rather lanky frame with deceptive upper body strength, using it well to hold off defenders, combining flair with a string of bold moves.
He’s ambidextrous, which does help his cause moving forward. Yet, what he lacks is that finishing touch but there have been sparks of that here and there, including an impressive goal in the UEFA Youth League.
That is the U-19s version of the Champions League, with the same groups picked for both the senior and the juniors. With the goal, Mathis Rayan Cherki became the youngest goalscorer, aged just 15 years and 33 days and sparked debates about his future.
However, at the moment, the 15-year-old is simply on a schoolboy form, which is a contract for players between 9 and 16 years old. But that will change for Mathis Rayan Cherki in August, which is when the Telegraph has reported, Olympique Lyonnais will offer him a professional deal.
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This gives any suitors a small window of opportunity, and one they must take. But for Cherki, staying at Olympique Lyonnais might prove to be far better than leaving for any one of the multiple European powerhouses chasing after him.