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Who is Habib Diallo – Ligue 1’s new breakout star?

Ligue 1 is a notorious ‘farmers league’ on Twitter. There’s this misconception that PSG win every game, with Lyon in second 30 points behind and the rest of the league being awful. Not true whatsoever. In fact, the French top tier is one of Europe’s best league’s for nurturing talent. Mbappe, Hazard, Benzema and more recently Nicolas Pepe. The list goes on. I’m confident that Habib Diallo will be added up there with them.

Habib Diallo in action for FC Metz

The Metz striker has been sensational in the French League this season. 10 goals in 19 appearances has put the Senegal international in the spotlight. The Daily Mail are reporting Chelsea have submitted a £17 million bid for the striker. The Blues are trying to find competition for Tammy Abraham, with strikers like Moussa Dembele also linked with a move to the Bridge.

Unless you watch Ligue 1, you probably haven’t heard of Habib Diallo. So we’ll explain why he is in high demand:

Habib Diallo – Style of Play

The 6ft 1in centre forward is right-footed and evidently physically strong as shown in the video. His physique enables him to be the focal point of the attack to either beat his man or set up a teammate. The physicality of the Premier League normally takes foreign players by surprise. I doubt it will for Diallo if he moves. The man is a unit.

It’s therefore no surprise he’s a massive aerial threat from set pieces. Multiple times in the video he heads in from a corner, towering over his marker to find the back of the net.

Of course there is a trade off for being tall and strong: A lack of pace. Running at defenders isn’t a part of Diallo’s game. Instead he’s more of a poacher in the box that, although may not contribute much to phases of play, will take his chances when he gets them. 2.8 shots per game this season (WhoScored) are a testament to that. The 24 year old’s stats this season and last year in 2018/19 speak for themselves:

Diallo Ligue 2 stats 2018/19:

Appearances: 37

Goals: 26

Assists: 6

Worth A Punt?

He reminds me of Mauro Icardi. Not the best on the ball, not technically gifted, not extremely quick. But he’s intelligent, makes effective movement and is clinical. Moreover, if he gets the service, Diallo could get huge tallies in the Premier League.

£17 million could tempt Metz as aforementioned. As a result, that makes the risk for clubs like Chelsea minimal and worth a punt. The only issue is Diallo needs the service. There could be games where he just goes missing, as he looks like he struggles to make chances himself. The definition of a goal scorer, but perhaps not much more than that.

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