Sunday, January 29, 2023

Huddersfield Town Target This French Youngster: A Much Needed Buy For Wagner?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

Huddersfield Town are left with very little options in the transfer market to choose from, owing to their financial stature and insecurities stemming from being in the top-flight English football after 45 years. The club board would be conservative towards going all out in the shopping window and then left with large wages to pay if they get relegated.

David Wagner has an extremely tough job ahead of him surely in picking up his transfer targets as they would mostly be unknown second-tier players. And still, the Terriers would find themselves struggling to fulfil their wage demands. And their next target, reportedly, isn’t much different in French side AJ Auxerre’s central midfielder Brahim Konaté.

The 21-year-old defensive midfielder has been garnering the attention of numerous clubs across Europe with Belgian side Zulte Waregem being a frontrunner in his chase. He has apparently been given permission by the club to leave and Huddersfield have kept him as a top priority this summer.

Wagner has largely played with a two-man midfield last season, which was perfectly shouldered by Aaron Mooy and Jonathan Hogg. Now with the Manchester City loanee returning to Etihad at the end of the season and his permanent deal yet to be finalised, Wagner is left with 35-year-old Dean Whitehead alongside Hogg to hold the spine of the side. Although Danish youngster Philip Billing did play a decent backup, he would be a risky starter in the Premier League.

Konate could be the perfect addition to Wagner’s side, given the quality he has displayed at such a young age. France is the footballing side of the future with chunks of exciting youngsters emerging every season now. They possess the best bench in world football and Konate, playing in second-tier, has still managed to get six appearances France’s Under 20 side, since debuting last year.

A defensive midfielder, Konate can also play as a centre-half as and when needed and becomes the much-needed extra central defender when the full-backs’ go on the counter. He isn’t a new name among English clubs, with Everton coming close to signing him two years back.

Konate was more or less a regular to the side last season paying 31 times for AJ Auxerre and scoring once in the process. Although the French side finished 17th in the Ligue 2 table, Konate has been a standout performer for them.

Wagner’s side was pretty solid in their defence the last term, conceding just 58 goals in 46 games, and Konate’s include will only strengthen it.

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