After two key signings in this Summer Window(Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssnen) Tottenham just recruited an attacking midfielder, Marseille’s Georges-Kevin N’Koudou; the Frenchman’s young age(21) fit nicely with the club’s policy for young talent, when the player is still affordable.
It’s been only a year since the young”canary” from FC Nantes arrived in South France’s Mediterranean port, but he already showed his worth despite the club’s financial, managerial and “several football affairs” who made the front pages, instead of the team’s performance.
France discovered “GK” at the end of a volcanic game, Nantes vs Bastia; the stadium was red-hot while a youngster wearing the number 35 shirt, came in(87th): N’Koudou, just turned eighteen enters on the pitch for the first time, in a professional game. Three minutes later the Stadium exploded; the teenager pressed so hard that obliged Julien Palmieri to shoot the ball in his own net ! Nantes won 2-0 and the youngster made a memorable début: it was the August 10/ 2013.
The young Frenchman was born in Versailles near Paris; his first club “les Petits Anges=Little Angels, was based in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, but he was spotted by Paris st Germain scouts during his essay to Clairefontaine, France’s Football National Centre. N’Koudou joined PSG’s Youth Academy, aged 13( July 2008). Two years later, the Parisian club lost interest on the player, so the teenager joined another club, AC Boulogne- Billancourt, a Parisian suburb.
A year later, Nantes and Lille contacted the player’s parents and finally the Versailles born left the Parisian region for Nantes (2011).He celebrated his first goal during a Cup game vs Lorient and his first Ligue1 vs Guigamp (1-0) .
Olympique de Marseille signed “GK “(June 12/2015) for only £1M; it’s a safe bet to suppose that Tottenham paid more ! Last season was a hard one for the Phocean club; they almost got relegated but N’Koudou was a light in the dark; had an excellent start untill his injury ; scored vs Groningen and Sporting Braga (Europa League, 7 games, 4 goals, 2 assists ) and netted the victory goal vs Nantes and St Etienne(28 games, 5 goals).
He also is one of the Bleus‘ young prospects: three caps -17 two caps -19 scored once -20 and he’s now playing with the under 21( scored one vs Estonia).
Spurs new signing, is a left winger by nature but he can also play on the right; French journalists are sometimes unhappy, for he doesn’t lift his head to watch where the ball should go; let’s hope that’s only lack of experience ! He’s a born dribbler and his biggest strength is his ability to go past his opponents; he’s also keen to stay on the wings and provide crosses for the strikers. The newcomer is also comfortable with both feet, quick on the counter attack and the best dribbler of L1(23 last season).
Of course “GK” is not the finishing product…yet. He’s still a young inexperienced player; his ball control is far for being perfect (3.0 per game) and his rate of unsuccessful touches per game (2.5) a damping factor. His aerial game needs some improvement too, but one can be sure that Tottenham’s boss Mauricio Pochettino is well aware of his new player’s ups and down and he will do whatever he thinks best for his player.
N’Koudou is a young promising player who could one day play with the Spurs Captain Hugo Lloris, not only at White Hart Lane but also at the Stade of France; time(and lots of work) will tell; until then President’s Daniel Levi Summer Window signings, look promising enough !