Focus On: Steve Mounié

Steve Mounie
Huddersfield Town's Beninese striker Steve Mounie celebrates scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Huddersfield Town and Brighton and Hove Albion at the John Smith's stadium in Huddersfield, northern England on December 9, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Huddersfield Town returned to winning ways on Saturday with a win over fellow promoted side Brighton & Hove Albion. Both the goals came from the Terriers’ record signing, Steve Mounié, who had been missing in action since the game in September against West Ham United.

During the 2016/2017 promotion winning season, Huddersfield had three strikers to choose from, and head coach David Wagner used a squad rotation method to try and give players match time. Of the three strikers last season, only two are still with Town. Nakhi Wells was sold to Burnley in the transfer window.

Focus on: Steve Mounié

To survive in the Premier League, Wagner knew he needed to bring in goal scorers. Knowing that the small club didn’t have the budget of the bigger teams, the German looked abroad. He turned his attention to the French top flight and targetted Montpellier who finished in the mid-table Ligue 1.

Picking out Steve Mounié, who was the top scorer for the French side with 14 goals last season, Wagner expressed his interest. The Benin international had come through the youth academy at Montpellier and made his senior debut in 2014.

Mounié spent a year away from his home club as he was loaned out to Nimes, a Ligue 2 side, before returning to the first division. Although signing a contract extension that would see him with Montpellier until 2019, the striker knew that he wanted to play in the Premier League.

Premier League Dreams

When Huddersfield came knocking, Mounié didn’t hesitate. The Terriers shelled out £11.5 million plus add-ons to Montpellier for the 23-year-old, which made him the record signing for the Yorkshire club.

Mounié made an immediate impact, scoring twice on the Terriers’ debut game in the top flight against Crystal Palace. Unfortunately, he then picked up a heel injury after the West Ham game and had not played since.

Huddersfield went on a losing streak of matches, mostly away from the John Smith’s Stadium. Only Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur had beaten them at home. Something was needed and Mounié was fit for the Brighton game.

Once again, the impact was immediate. The Terriers were all over the Seagulls and Mounié popped up in all the right places as well as scoring a brace. The record signing is so far the top goal scorer for the Yorkshire side, sitting on four.

With Mounié back fit, Huddersfield Town will be hoping to end their poor away form and start getting wins outside of Yorkshire. Chelsea are the next team to visit the Terriers, and that will be on Tuesday – the match will be difficult, however, if Town continue to play the way they did on Saturday, the Blues could well be another team to fall.

 

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