Name: Sofiane Feghouli
International Caps: 21
Position: Attacking Midfielder
A player touted for a long time as a wonderkid, Feghouli has repeatedly been linked with a move to the Premier League. With both sides in the market for creative attacking talent, it isn’t surprising that Liverpool and Manchester United are the latest teams said to be interested in the 24 year old. The midfielder is expected to start against Russia tonight in an encounter which will likely determine who qualifies alongside Belgium from Group H.
Although Feghouli prefers the central position, the Algerian is capable of occupying any role across the midfield. In their opening fixture against Belgium, the 24 year old started on the right flank and earned a penalty off of Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen before promptly dispatching it.
Perhaps the strongest aspect of Feghouli’s play is the manner in which he charges at defenders using quick bursts of energy. The 24 year old is cunning in the way that he draws fouls by forcing defenders to commit in dangerous areas of the field.
Despite only starting 22 games in La Liga this season, Feghouli still managed to record a more than respectable 8 assists. Rather than attempting long direct passes, the Algerian prefers short exchanges and has proven himself adept with the ball at his feet. Standing at 5 foot 10 inches, the midfielder is an elusive customer when in possession of the football.
However, despite his creative talents, Feghouli finding the net himself is an all too rare occurrence. The 24 year old scored just four times in La Liga this season, although he did notch a further three in the Europa League. Inconsistency is also an issue, with the Algerian finding himself in and out of the side at Valencia under Juan Antonio Pizzi.
With Valencia’s wealthy new owner and Feghouli’s recent contract extension tying him to the club until 2016, the Spanish side are under no pressure to sell one of their prized assets. Despite these aforementioned flaws, the Algerian is a talent that Liverpool and United could consider developing in the Premier League, if the price is right.
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