Having conceded a staggering 47 goals so far this season, it’s no surprise Fulham are eyeing up defensive reinforcements.
To work his magic for the London side facing a fierce relegation battle, Claudio Ranieri needs a defence that can without conceding 3 goals a game. To fix their mess at the back, he has targeted Youssouf Sabaly.
The Bordeaux defender has struggled for game time in Ligue 1 this season, making just 8 appearances in the French top flight. Because of this, The Lilywhites may be able to bring him to Craven Cottage for a reasonable price.
With Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s loan set to be cut short, it’s essential Fulham get an improvement on the Dutchman. Sabaly, who was heavily linked with Napoli in the summer, could be who they need.
The Senegalese international spent the majority of his youth career with PSG, playing 46 times for the reserves. He then went on a series of loans to other Ligue 1 sides, spending his whole career in France.
Having made 65 appearances for Evian between from 2013 to 2015 and 28 appearances for Nantes the following year, Sabaly’s next loan spell was at Bordeaux. 35 appearances impressed Les Girondins enough to sign him permanently for a €4 million in 2017.
Only recently has Sabaly struggled for first team football, but prior to this season, he has performed well when called upon.
Style of Play
The 5ft 9 defender is able to play both as a right back and a left back. As shown in the video, he thrives going forward with great pace as well as good control of the ball.
1 key pass alongside 1.5 dribbles per game in 2017/18 are decent figures, with his ability to go forward allowing him to make 5 assists. The 25 year old’s crossing is also decent in the video, consistently putting dangerous balls into the box, perfect for Alexander Mitrovic if he joins.
But not only is the Senegalese international an attacking threat, his defending is also up to scratch. 2.7 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game in Ligue 1 last season are impressive considering how often he goes forward.
We don’t suspect Youssouf Sabaly will cost too much as he is out of favour and not linked with anyone else. The French league does have a reputation of being a ‘farmers league’, so the signing may raise a few eyebrows.
However to us, he looks like a decent defender and could prove to be a good signing for Fulham in their quest to survive the drop…