Premier League rivals Leicester City and Southampton could be locked in a two-way tussle this summer after reports from France have claimed both are interested in Valencia’s Aymen Abdennour.
Foot Mercato suggest that the English duo are currently monitoring the 27-year-old’s situation over in Spain ahead of a potential summer move, with Valencia valuing the Tunisian at around £12.5 million (15 million euros).
But the report also claims that Italian side Inter Milan, along with French outfits Marseille and Lyon, have shown interest in Abdennour already, meaning it could be a tough battle for his signature.
Would Abdennour be the right fit for the Premier League?
For any centre-back to come into the Premier League and immediately make a positive impact at a club, they need to be a strong, physical character that can impose themselves on the biggest stage.
After spending four years in France – three at Toulouse and one at Monaco – and the past two seasons in La Liga, it is fair to say that Abdennour is used to the physicality he could face in England.
Standing at six-feet and three-inches he has the height needed to succeed, and add his ‘take no prisoners’ attitude on the football pitch and his love of a challenge and he starts to look a good buy.
He is more often than not alive to impending danger and, when faced one-on-one by opposition attackers, he knows to stand tall and strong and hold a player up until defensive support comes.
Yet there is a reason as to why Abdennour’s career has not particularly taken off, and why he hasn’t caught the attention of Europe’s top teams; he is a little unreliable and is often too inconsistent.
Although he is happy to play out of defence – showing he has good levels of confidence in his own abilities – he has tendencies to make mistakes, and every now and then he’ll suffer a fairly severe loss of concentration that results in losing his man and, ultimately, costing his team a valuable goal.
At a reported £12.5 million he could turn out to be a smart piece of business – considering the current state of the market – but at 27 years of age it might be a gamble to try him in the Premier League.