Liverpool and Everton are set to go head to head in the pursuit of French midfielder Soualiho Meite. The 22-year-old is currently on loan at Belgian club Zulte-Waregem from Lille and is valued at £6 million. He has impressed a number of clubs across Europe with his performances so far, thus making him one of the most sought after French player at the moment.
A French U-20 international, who has also featured for the French U-16, U-17, and U-19 team, Meite has been hailed for his abilities in the middle of the park and could prove to be a valuable addition to either of the Merseyside clubs mentioned.
Meite began his footballing journey at Auxerre and featured constantly for their youth sides. His endurance and efforts finally paid rich dividends and he was drafted into the club’s first team in 2011. He made over 24 appearances for Auxerre before Lille came calling with a £1.3 million offer for the then 18-year-old in 2013 and soon he moved to the club.
However, restricted opportunities at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy was not the need of the hour for a player still in the developing phase and Lille decided that it would be in the best interests of the parties involved to let the player leave on a loan to the Belgian club.
What makes Meite desirable?
An athletic deep lying midfielder who has shown a penchant for protecting his defence and breaking the opposition’s rhythm with his tenacity, Meite’s stock is on the rise in a world where capable defensive midfielders are becoming a rarity. He possesses the legs to function as the engine of the side and has a keen eye for a pass.
His ability to recover the ball in the middle of the park has made the right heads turn in his direction. Unafraid to put his body on the line, Meite is positionally disciplined and can prove to be the right cover for the defence.
While it remains to be seen if either of Liverpool or Everton can eke out a deal for the youngster, he would definitely benefit both the sides. While Idrissa Gueye has been an instant success at Everton, Gareth Barry, the other central midfielder at the club is now into his late 30’s and it would be a wise decision from Ronald Koeman to bring in reinforcements before it’s too late.
Liverpool, on the other hand, have a plethora of attacking midfielders on their books. However, what they have lacked in recent times is the presence of a solid destroyer who could lend the right balance to the line-up since the departure of Javier Mascherano to Barcelona.
Klopp, who has a reputation for bringing in lesser known players and turn them into vital cogs in the wheels of his side will be more than happy to snap up the youngster for the rumoured fee.