Back at the start of the season, when asked to predict the winner of Ligue 1, we suggested that while AS Monaco were the most logical challengers to Paris Saint-Germain’s domination, a rejuvenated Marseille under Marcelo Bielsa were worth a shout.
Available at 50/1 to win the league back then, L’OM were worth a couple of quid, while Lyon were backed as a fine each-way pick at 40/1.
And as we approach the Christmas break both teams are looking well-placed to surprise with Marseille a point clear of PSG while Lyon are just a point behind the Parisiens.
In a title race fast shaping up to be the closest in recent times, we’ve picked out five young stars who could yet be on their way to English shores and the Premier League in the near future.
Nabil Fekir – Lyon
Hailed as Lyon’s answer to Lionel Messi, Fekir has been instrumental in Les Gones steady climb up the Ligue 1 table, with the 21-year-old’s dribbling skills and eye for a pass the driving force in many of his team’s attack. With six goals in 14 games, he’s also already being linked to Arsenal.
Wissam Ben Yedder – Toulouse
The 24-year-old was rumoured to be on Tottenham’s radar earlier this season and with seven goals and two assists in Ligue 1 this term he certainly boasts plenty of potential. An excellent finisher capable of holding up the ball when required, he could prove the perfect fit for the Premier League.
Paul-Georges Ntep – Rennes
Arsene Wenger is thought to be a big fan of the 22-year-old midfielder who is adept at playing on either flank and cutting inside to shoot. Ntep has six goals in just 13 Ligue 1 appearances this term and made global headlines after heading one effort, while in on his hands and knees.
Nampalys Mendy – Nice
The man identified by Newcastle as the ideal replacement for the potentially outgoing Cheick Tiote, Mendy turned his back on Monaco after helping them back to Ligue 1, signing for Nice where he plays regularly and to great effect in a defensively-minded central midfield role.
Joao Moutinho – Monaco
Arguably the most high-profile name being linked with a move away from France, or more specifically Monaco, Moutinho is being tracked by a whole host of Premier League names. A playmaker with a fine eye for goal, the Portuguese star would light up any league in the world.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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