7 Ligue 1 players who could make an instant impact in the Premier League this January
Lucas Moura (PSG)
Moura is a super-quick Brazilian winger and his pace alone would make him an asset for a number of Premier League clubs looking to add speed on the flanks. The problem is that the 25-year-old can't be relied upon to deliver high-quality balls into the penalty area on a regular basis, and that’s why he has slipped down the pecking order at PSG.
He has played just 76 minutes of Ligue 1 football this season, and the club from the French capital are resigned to making a loss on a player they signed for £38m from Sao Paulo in 2013.
Now surplus to requirements, the Brazil international would be available for less than PSG paid for him, and has already been linked with a move to Chelsea. Those stories about him potentially moving to Stamford Bridge will have alerted others to his availability.
Potential suitors: Chelsea, Everton, Manchester United
One of the most exciting players in Ligue 1 in 2017, Malcom is bound to be playing on a stage bigger than current club Bordeaux can provide sooner rather than later. The 20-year-old Brazilian has a fabulous left foot, tremendous dribbling ability and an eye for the spectacular. He’s adept at playing killer through-balls into the penalty area and can also find the net, as his tally of seven goals in 16 Ligue 1 starts this season demonstrates.
Malcom is no stranger to a January transfer either, having moved to France from his boyhood club Corinthians two years ago this month. He found himself recently linked with a €30m move to Manchester United, and that sort of price that could turn out to be an absolute bargain in the long run given the immense potential that he has.
Potential suitors: Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham
Thomas Lemar (Monaco)
Reports claim that Arsenal made a €90m bid for 22-year-old Monaco and France star Lemar on transfer deadline day last August, but that wasn’t enough to complete a deal for one of Europe’s most coveted young footballers. It’s almost certain that Lemar is in his final season at Monaco, but the question is whether he leaves in January or waits until the end of the current campaign.
Lemar came to the fore playing for Monaco last season as a left winger in a 4-4-2 system, but in recent weeks has operated in his preferred position as a traditional No.10 playing behind a lone striker.
Potential destinations: Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City
Mouctar Diakhaby (Lyon)
A powerful, athletic centre-back, Diakhaby has turned in some star performances for Lyon in Ligue 1 and in the Europa League over the past 12 months. Despite looking a tremendous prospect whenever he gets picked, however, the France youth international isn’t considered a first-choice player at Lyon. Manager Bruno Genesio prefers Marcelo and Jeremy Morel as his central defensive pairing.
Diakhaby can afford to bide his time – he’s just turned 21, after all – but he’s attracting admiring glances from a number of Premier League clubs and may wonder if this is the right time to move on. Young French centre-backs such as Raphael Varane, Dayot Upamecano and another ex-Lyon youth product Samuel Umtiti are already excelling abroad. Diakhaby could be the next in line.
Potential destinations: Arsenal, Liverpool