Saturday, December 3, 2022

Manchester City To Rival Wolves In Pursuit Of This Promising Ligue 1 Full-Back: One For The Future?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Tuttomercatoweb, Manchester City are set to rival Wolverhampton Wanderers in pursuit of Angers left-back Rayan Aït Nouri this summer. The same source has also claimed that the Citizens have entered negotiations and are ready to intensify their efforts to land the French whizkid when the transfer window reopens later this year (translated by Sport Witness). It is believed that Man City are hoping to seal a move for the teenage defender in this off-season and are even prepared to loan him to Spain to help him continue his development next season (via Tuttomercatoweb).

Aït Nouri’s Rapid Emergence In French Football

The 18-year-old came through the youth ranks of Angers before breaking out as a first-team starter last season. He has continued to impress over the past nine months and has successfully established himself as a regular member of Stéphane Moulin’s match-day squad. Aït Nouri has made 17 appearances for the French outfit this term, picking up three assists in the process across all competitions which sheds light on how much he has matured on the left side of the Angers backline.

The Montreuil-born prospect has found a run of consistency with his performances on the field after averaging 1.7 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, 1.5 clearances, 0.5 key passes and 1.1 dribbles in every 90 minutes of football in the Ligue 1 this season (stats via whoscored). His stats showcase his growing influence at both ends of the pitch.

Aït Nouri has also represented France at various youth levels and is currently playing a vital role for the French U-21 side, having featured in three matches for them thus far. The talented full-back has the potential to become a top player in his position someday, so it won’t be surprising if Didier Deschamps decides to reward him with a senior cap in the future if he can show signs of improvement in the coming seasons.

Manchester City to rival Wolves in pursuit of Rayan Aït Nouri who is dribbling in the picture
Reims’ Togolese midfielder Alaixys Romao (L) vies with Angers’ defender Rayan Aït Nouri (R) during the French L1 football match Reims vs Angers on November 9, 2019, at the Auguste Delaune Stadium in Reims. (Photo by FRANCOIS NASCIMBENI/AFP via Getty Images)

What Are The French Wonderkid’s Best Attributes?

Aït Nouri can use his quickness and agility to make some darting runs down the left flank. He displays excellent balance and possesses the dribbling ability to cause a few problems for the opposition going forward. The French youngster is also growing into a reliable defender at the back as he can pull off some crucial interceptions and last-gasp clearances for his side. However, the Angers starlet is still very raw and would need to ensure regular game time if he wants to continue improving himself with each season.

Is Aït Nouri A Prospect For The Future?

Signing Aït Nouri this summer and then loaning him to Spain seems like a good move for the Citizens as it will help the player gain more experience which might be enough for him to be ready to feature for Pep Guardiola’s senior side in a few years. The Frenchman is currently one of the most promising young full-backs in European football so there is no doubt that it would be a massive coup for Man City if they can find a way to lure him to the north-west of England this summer.

Aït Nouri has the ceiling to become a world-class left-back and will undoubtedly be a prospect to look out for in the future. Therefore, Guardiola would be wise to orchestrate a move to acquire his services before the start of the new season. He is a star in the making and could prove to be a shrewd signing for the Mancunian giants in the long-run.

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