After years of PSG dominance, this season’s Ligue 1 is a thrillingly open affair. Nice are the surprise yet deserving leaders, in no small part to the exploits of in-form forward Alassane Plea.
Fellow front-man Mario Balotelli may grab the headlines for Les Aiglons, but it’s Plea whose performances are reflecting Nice’s stunning season.
Under Lucien Favre, Nice remain the only unbeaten side in Ligue 1, winning eight and drawing two of their opening ten games to open out a four-point gap at the top.
And things are looking good for Plea on a personal level too.
With six goals this season, the 23-year-old has already matched his tally from last term.
After failing to make the grade at Lyon and Auxerre, Plea arrived in Nice in 2014, and has steadily improved year on year.
A trio of goals in his opening campaign were supplemented by nine assists from the flanks, but since then he’s been gradually moulded into a forward rather than a winger.
Six goals and four assists (from just 19 games) was a decent enough haul last season, but already this term we’ve seen the French talent plunder six goals with no assists, highlighting his transformation into a goal-grabbing machine.
A hat-trick against FC Metz last time out was the highlight of Plea’s season so far, and Premier League teams should be taking note.
At 23, his best days are certainly still to come, and clubs needn’t break the bank to land the French U21 international either.
With a contract running until only 2018, and a valuation from transfermarkt.co.uk of a shade over £4m, Plea could represent superb value for money come January.
West Brom and Burnley, two sides arguably lacking a goal presence up front, are just two of a number of potential destinations, as are Swansea and Sunderland.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing