The need for brilliant wingers is never short; everyone is looking for the next Cristiano Ronaldo or even Eden Hazard – when he was flying at Lille and at the start of his Chelsea career. It seems that teams are now willing to take a lot of risks with foreign imports, the next one being Sofiane Boufal.
The 22-year-old Moroccan just recently signed for Ligue 1 side Lille after spending a couple of years in the lower leagues of the French footballing pyramid and like Riyad Mahrez, his growth could well take shape at an English club.
Tottenham are already linked with a move for the talented winger but why are Spurs and a few other English clubs so interested in the 22-year-old?
Quick feet and lighting pace
The attacker can play in a range of advanced positions from the wings to the central striker but his preferred role is that of an attacking midfielder. Boufal already has five goals to his name for Lille this season playing in a range of positions.
His greatest strength as alluded earlier is his trickery and pace. Seen in Ligue 1, he is pretty similar to Chelsea star Eden Hazard (according to the Standard) as a gifted dribbler who likes to take on defenders or even run at them and navigating himself out of trouble.
The 22-year-old is comfortable with the ball at his feet and is always in attack mode, looking to take on the defence and make something happen. He is already great at finding the man out with his excellent passes and through balls.
His delivery of the ball is also pretty impressive and is a threat in almost any dead ball situation, something which Spurs fans would love to see more of, ala Christian Eriksen. His technique in kicking a ball is also quite good and is known for his accuracy from distance.
There are a few issues, as with any player who is developing. Boufal isn’t the greatest when it comes to defending for the team. He is somewhat of a luxury player, someone you don’t expect to run back and defend.
His other issue is overplaying with the ball, there have been instances where the Moroccan has been caught out trying to do too much for the team and that is where he needs to improve the most. Boufal though has a great future ahead of him and he should be in the books for one of the top clubs come the end of this season if he keeps playing like he has for Lille.
Whether that team is a Premier League one or another is a matter of choice for Boufal but he would have to make a wise decision if he does want to move away from the Ligue 1.