Tottenham are reportedly following the progress of Lille star Sofiane Boufal, who has been described in France as the natural successor to Eden Hazard.
Hazard has gone on to establish himself as one of the world’s best players since moving to Chelsea from Lille three years ago – but Tottenham were well aware of his talents in Ligue 1 having made a move to sign him before the player opted for Stamford Bridge.
Spurs have been keeping a close eye on the French market since the appointment of Paul Michell as Tottenham’s head of recruitment last November. They initially failed in a bid to sign then-Monaco striker Anthony Martial earlier this summer, before they did complete a deal for Clinton N’Jie from Lyon.
And the London Evening Standard claims that Spurs are now monitoring the progress of Lille’s latest prospect Boufal.
The 22-year-old playmaker, who boasts close control, speed, and the ability to run with the ball amongst his assets, has scored three times in eight games for Lille this season.
Although his decision-making needs to improve, Lille captain Rio Mavuba can see clear comparisons with Hazard and said: “He reminds me of Eden when he was playing here. It is striking, he likes the ball, even if he plays too much sometimes. But he is young, you have to let him grow.”
Boufal joined Lille less than a year ago from Angers, who were then playing in Ligue 2, the French equivalent of the Championship. He signed his first professional contract only two years ago but he has already been capped by Morocco at senior level.
Spurs reportedly made a £12million bid for Boufal over the summer – an offer that was rejected out of hand – and that fee is likely to rise considerably, with the market for young French players at an all-time high thanks to the £36million Manchester United paid for Martial.
Should they end up selling Boufal, Lille look certain to make a significant profit on the player, who cost only £3million when he joined in January 2015.
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