In this, the second part of the series “10 Frenchmen that that every football club should scout” we present some of the defenders that could make the grade at some of European top clubs. Some of you might have read the first part of this 2 part series in which we focused mainly on the attackers but this time round the focus is on defence.
Chris Mavinga – Chris Mavinga is a 21-year-old left-back who he currently playing for Rennes. Chris has represented France at every youth level starting from under -18s to under 21s. In fact Chris was part of the French under-19 team that won the UEFA European under-19 championship in 2010. A lot of people do not know but he spent 2010-11 season on the books of Liverpool before returning to France. One potential black mark against him is the fact that he is one of those four footballers who is currently suspended from national team because of an unauthorized night out. The potential can however not be doubted.
Benjamin Stambouli – Benjamin Stambouli is a 22-year-old Central defender who plays for Montpellier. Stambouli as a defender is comfortable with either foot and can play as a defensive midfielder too. Stambouli too is a French youth international and has represented French under- 21 side 14 times. Any club should they go for him would get a defender who has Champions League experience and has also won a domestic title. All that experience will come in handy and would have taught him a lot.
Lucas Digne – Lucas Digne is a 19-year-old left back who plays for Lille, although he is primarily a left-back he can play at right-back as well. Lucas is very highly-rated in France and has represented the country at every youth level and is only a matter of time before he earns his first international cap for France. As with Stambouli, he has played in UEFA Champions League and scored for Lille in their qualifier against FC Copenhagen. For me, he is one of the stars of the future and any club which goes for him will get a real gem.
Loris Nery – Loris Nery is a 21-year-old centre-back and another one of those players who is a French youth International who plays his club football for Valenciennes whom he joined from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2012. The best thing about Nery is the fact that in spite of being a central defender he can play anywhere along the back line and we all know that is one quality that every manager craves in his players.
Nicolas Isimat-Mirin – Isimat-Mirin is a 21-year-old central defender, a French youth international and plays for Valenciennes. He is a graduate of the famous Clairefontaine academy, where Hatem Ben Arfa and many famous French great spent their early years. Valenciennes have made a very good start this season and in 16 matches have only conceded 17 goals, much of which is down to the contribution of Isimat-Mirin who has started 15 of those 16 games .
These are some of the finest young players currently plying their trade in France and given the fact you could get some of some of these current as well as future stars at really inexpensively merits some serious scouting.
You can read the first part of this series here.