I hope you all had a good Christmas and I thank each and every one of you who have visited the advertisers to keep this blog running. It is much appreciated and now we'll continue a look at a few players we are taking a keen interest in and sending scouts to watch, together with our in-house video analysis.
We have taken a look at two strikers Moussa Marega (Vitória Guimarães) and Andre Silva (Porto), now it is the turn of 19-year-old (20 next December) Marseille and France Under-20 international attacking midfielder Maxime Lopes.
Apart from ourselves, Arsenal and Liverpool, who have watched him since he was 16 are among other sides to have sent scouts to keep tabs on his progress. In his debut season, he has been dubbed the 'new Samir Nasri' by the French media.
His style is to keep the ball on the floor, which fits our style of football, and his strengths are listed as dribbling, passing (86.8% success) and playing key passes, while he doesn't dive into tackles. The attributes we look for are all there. His coach Rudi Garcia gives an insight into his personality.
"He was sent to our internal media and we saw that this boy has his head on his shoulders. We will continue to protect him. Maxime Lopez is a quiet, humble person. He is in life as he is in the locker room. His analysis is correct, he breathes football and speaks well."
Obviously he is at the beginning of his career, but our fluid movement and quick passing suits how he wants to play. Lopes recently told the media at his first press conference that he would like to play like Spanish legend Andrés Iniesta. Also, like our Dane Christian Eriksen, Lopes likes to find space and be on the ball as much as possible while he can also play anywhere across the midfield three.
As one for the future, he looks a sensible target and securing an emerging talent like him now keeps his transfer fee at a sensible level. Perhaps Lopes would be a better bet than Croatian international Ante Ćorić with his third party involvement with Doyen Sports (see recent Ante Ćorić article).
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