Nabil Fekir has seen his name swirl in transfer rumors ever since breaking into the Lyon first team. At only 24 years of age he has proven that he’s ready for the next big step in his career.
Nabil Fekir’s next step is fast approaching
Lyon has had a strong campaign thus far, sitting third in France’s Ligue 1 only behind AS Monaco on goal difference. The team’s attack is beginning to make a name for itself throughout Europe and Fekir is the primary reason for this. In 15 appearances he has racked up an impressive 12 goals and 4 assists. Although he can play as a striker, the Frenchman most often features as an attacking midfielder; making his goal scoring rate of a goal every 112 minutes all the more remarkable. His average of 3.2 shots per game makes opposing goalkeepers always stay on their toes and his pass completion percentage of 82.3 percent highlights his playmaking ability.
Fekir is mostly known for his attacking abilities, but his defensive work rate is quite notable as well. He’s been averaging nearly two tackles per game in Ligue 1, more than double the amount attacking partners like Memphis Depay and Mariano average.
In addition to his high work rate, Fekir adds to his multifaceted game by being considered a set-piece specialist. His game-winning free kick goal in the dying minutes of Lyon’s October fixture versus Monaco is an ideal example of this. His dangerous curled and well-placed shot always keeps goalkeepers and defensive walls wary.
Being given the captain armband at Lyon this season has allowed him to flourish as a leader. He’s also been at Lyon since he was a teenager, which likely makes the armband even more meaningful. Fekir, however, can showcase his skills in the summer’s World Cup and make his move to a European powerhouse.
In a recent interview with Telefoot, Fekir spoke about his admiration of Spain’s La Liga Santander and England’s Premier League. The Frenchman specifically mentioned Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atleticó Madrid, Arsenal, and the two Manchester clubs as clubs of interest. With this being said, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas intends to keep Fekir at the club for the foreseeable future. A player speaking to the media about larger clubs abroad typically isn’t the best sign, however.
Atleticó and Arsenal seem like the most logical destinations for the rising star. All signs point to Antoine Griezmann’s time with Los Rojiblancos coming to an end. If true, they could be on the lookout for a replacement with similar qualities. Fekir doesn’t have a résumé comparable to that of Griezmann yet, but it’s rare to find a player that does. Adding Fekir if Griezmann bids farewell would allow Atleticó to remain competitive in both league and European competitions.
If rumors prove to be true then Arsenal will be on the market for quality players to reinforce their squad. Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil seem to be on their way out, and this will likely be the case should Arsenal fail to qualify for Champions League for a second consecutive season. Interestingly enough, Fekir already has a strong relationship with Arsenal’s star striker Alexandre Lacazette. They were a formidable duo together at Lyon, which can be a major factor in attracting him to the Emirates. Arsenal currently has six French players and a French manager in Arsène Wenger, which would help Fekir feel at home.
The Last Word
Lyon has the chance to qualify for a Champions League spot this season and can still make a run in the Europa League. That would be quite the accomplishment, but Fekir is ready for a new challenge. A move can be expected this summer, allowing the Frenchman to become a household name in football.