Connect in the back of the net

Silly season always brings to the fore some players that are very vigorously in the news throughout. It’s almost traditional. There are of course, the high profile cases of David de Gea, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Ramos but another player has been linked with a move away from his club pretty vehemently, and that is AS Monaco’s Aymen Abdennour. Barcelona, AC Milan, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Juventus, Tottenham and most seriously West Ham have been linked with the player.

The 25 year old was born in Tunisia and started his career at Etoile Sportive du Sahel in 2008. He quickly became a fan favourite despite being pretty young and inexperienced. In Jan 2010, the Tunisian signed a six month loan deal with SV Werder Bremen. The German club did have the option to sign the player permanently but they did not exercise it and the defender returned to his native country.

But a European call wasn’t too far away and just the next year (July 2011), Abdennour signed a long term contract with Ligue 1 side Toulouse. In January 2014, he was snapped up on loan by AS Monaco and his impressive performances for the side meant this club didn’t waste the opportunity and made his signature permanent the following summer.

Last season, he made 24 appearances for Monaco in all competitions and caught the eye of most in an especially impressive performance against Arsenal in the Champions League.

The Tunisian used to play on the wings and in an attacking role in his younger days but has established himself as a central defender now. Because he played on the flanks, he can also be operated in the full-back position if required.

The 25 year-old has been noted for his passing ability. He likes to play short passes and ensures the ball stays with his team, which can be seen by the fact that he has a pass success rate 82.8% in all competitions last season. He can also hold on to the ball with composure, a beneficial trade for any player. He is a strong reader of the game and can help build the game from the back.

The fact that he can maintain his concentration for the entirety of the game also helps matters. He boasts an impressive stature standing over 6 feet 2 inches tall and can bring his physicality into play both in defence and occasionally in offence. His leadership skills along with the fact that he can effectively organize the back-line add to his game.

Combining pace and power, the Tunisian is an impressive defender and it isn’t a surprise so many teams are interested in him although it will be slightly surprising if West Ham land him, given the interest of more elite teams.

Monaco are in no rush to sell and rightly so. West Ham have reportedly been the only team to formalise their offer with a €20m bid. The French side should wait to see if other teams come in and raise the offer for the defender.

If they are willing to sell a solid player, they should at least get good amount for him.

 

Written by Aakriti Mehrotra

Follow Aakriti on Twitter @Aakriti1

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