The next big things and the players to look for
There can be few players more frustrated with Ligue 1 side Grenoble Foot 38’s atrocious form so far this campaign than Sofiane Feghouli.
Regarded as one of the most promising young footballers in Europe, Feghouli has had a torrid time this term, missing the start of the season with a knee injury before returning in September and failing to find form.
This has led to him making just five league appearances, despite the side struggling at the foot of the table with just one victory from 21 matches.
The attacking midfielder is a product of Grenoble's youth system, and has played for the French U21 national team, although he is also eligible to play for Algeria.
He possesses an excellent first touch and impressive balance, and is versatile enough to play across the midfield or off a striker.
Surprisingly for a young, technically-blessed French footballer, Feghouli hasn’t been snaffled up by Arsene Wenger.
Infact it’s the Arsenal boss’s old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson who is said to be most likely to make a move, with the Manchester United manager said to be monitoring the player’s progress for over a year.
Indeed, speaking in the French press, Feghouli has previously said of a potential move to England: “I like the Premier League, it is one of the best leagues. Manchester United? The best team in the world at the moment, it is a dream club. But there’s no contact with me, it is paper talk.”
However, the likes of Liverpool, AC Milan, Ajax and Barcelona are also known to be keen admirers, so Fergie may have to act swiftly in order to get his man.
Just to make things more interesting, Feghouli will be out of contract and available for a nominal fee come the summer, which could lead Grenoble to accept any reasonable bid that comes there way in the coming days.
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Name Sofiane Feghouli Age 20Position Right-wingerNationality Franco-AlgerianClub Grenoble Games 5 Goals 0 (Ligue 1 this season)
Manchester United have signed one highly promising French winger in Gabriel Obertan and it may not be long before another arrives at the Carrington training ground.
Sir Alex Ferguson is one of several managers keeping tabs on Sofiane Feghouli, the exciting 20-year-old Grenoble right-winger who ended his club’s 45-year absence from the top flight last season and produced a series of sparkling Ligue 1 displays to become one of French football’s hottest properties.
Feghouli’s Algerian roots have provoked comparisons with Zinedine Zidane, but he’s a totally different kind of player.
Operating on the right wing, his main assets are bursts down the flank and a Giggs-esque ability to cross on the run.
At free-kicks, the youngster generates surprising power from a slight frame.
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Feghouli has already won three France U21 caps but received a senior Algeria call-up in 2008. He turned it down, saying he wanted more time to think about his future.
Algeria’s qualification for next summer’s World Cup will be on his mind, so his decision’s expected soon.
First he needs to get his club career back on track.
Grenoble coach Mecha Bazdarevic hauled him off 37 minutes into a league game in September because of a poor attitude and he earned a one-game suspension for gesturing rudely at his own fans the following week.
“Perhaps we overestimated the quality of certain players on and off the pitch,” said riled general manager Pierre Wantiez.
That was harsh, because Feghouli’s talent is beyond question. And Fergie knows a thing or two about taming wayward Frenchmen.
Talentspotter ratingsHeading - 4.0Crpssing - 8.0Tackling - 4.0Creativity - 7.0Passing - 7.0Work-rate - 5.0Shooting - 5.0Pace - 7.0Dribbling - 7.0Overall - 6.5---------------------------------------------FourFourTwo.com: More to read...Talentspotter: Home * Ones to Watch * Hotlists * WAGsFFT.com: Blogs * News * Interviews * Forums * HomepageFollow us: Twitter * Facebook
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