Three things you need to know about Soualiho Meite

Liverpool and Everton are reportedly about to do battle over £6m midfielder Soualiho Meite, with West Ham United also interested.

Both Merseyside clubs are watching the under-20 midfielder, who is currently playing in Belgium for Zulte Waregem while on loan from French side Lille.

The Frenchman has also been attracting attention from big clubs around Europe, including Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund, who bought fellow French youngster Ousmane Dembele from Rennes over the summer.

Meite has been quietly going about his business in Europe, plying his trade in Lille’s reserve and senior team as well as in the Belgian First Division to clock up 69 first-team appearances before the age of 22.

An unfamiliar name in these shores despite his promise, not a lot is known about the youngster among English fans.

Here at Football FanCast, we’ve compiled a list of three things you need to know about the Everton, Liverpool and West Ham target.

HE IS A POWERFUL MIDFIELDER

French clubs seem to be brilliant at producing strong, athletic young players and Meite is another in that mould.

Like Blaise Matuidi, Moussa Sissoko and Yann M’Vila, Meite is strong, quick and able to cover a lot of ground.

Standing at 6 feet 2 inches, the 22-year-old is able to distribute and carry the ball as well as get around the pitch.

He is solid in a defensive role, which is possibly what makes him so appealing to Jurgen Klopp and Slaven Bilic.

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HE CAME FROM THE SAME YOUTH SIDE AS MEXES, CISSE AND CANTONA

While Meite has spent much of his career at Lille, he didn’t actually come through their youth ranks.

The Frenchman started his career at AJ Auxerre – who produced Phillipe Mexes, Djibril Cisse, Eric Cantona and About Diaby – playing for them between 2011 and 2013 and making 22 appearances for the first team while he was only 18.

While they are currently playing in Ligue 2, it wasn’t so long ago that Auxerre were a big French side; they were appearing in the Champions League only five seasons ago.

HE PLAYED IN THE SAME U-17 SIDE AS ZOUMA AND LAPORTE

It is a little strange Meite isn’t better-known, having appeared at every national team youth level apart from the Under-21s.

The Frenchman was also part of the Under-17 World Cup squad that got to the quarter-finals in 2011, where he appeared alongside the likes of Kurt Zouma, Aymeric Laporte and Tiemoue Babayoko.

While a number of players from that side have failed to live up to their potential, Zouma and Laporte in particular have gone on to excel at the highest level, while Babayoko and Benjamin Mendy are establishing themselves at Monaco and Sebastien Haller is doing well with Utrecht in Holland.

Here’s a quick look at the youngster in action for France’s U17 squad:

Article title: Three things you need to know about Soualiho Meite

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