Young. Insanely talented. Seasoned beyond his years. Only 17. A striker (that's right chicken). Oh and French. So of course Arsene Wenger is interested. Reports from the Mirror, Fail, and Metro indicate that Tottenham has a strong interest, along with every other major club in Europe, in young French wonderkid M'Baye Niang. Rumors over the past week have indicated that Arsenal have invited the young player in on trial to the Emirates, and it sounds like Tottenham have made the same offer to the kid. Also interested are Juventus, Manchester United, Newcastle, and Manchester City, who have skipped offering a trial and are waving 5 million pounds at the recently relegated Caen, because they're Man City and line their locker room floor with hundred dollar bills. Yet, who is this M'Baye Niang, why are we interested, and why should you care?
Niang burst onto the scene at the end of the 2010/11 season. Coming up through struggling Caen, he made his first appearance with the first team in a 1-1 draw with Toulouse, appearing at the age of 16 years and 114 days. In Ligue 1. In seven appearances he scored three goals. This past season he made 23 starts for Caen, but tallied only 2 goals (as if we should be disappointed a 16 year old only scored 2 goals in Ligue 1). He also is currently playing with the France U-21 team, despite still being eligible for the U-17 team. He has been described as a phenomenon and a striker out of the ordinary. He was so tall at 13 that scouts initially thought he lied about his age as if he were a Cuban baseball player. At 6'0" currently, he still has room the grow, and contains the ability to lead the front line by himself when he matures.
I don't know much beyond what I read about the kid, not having access to seeing Ligue 1 games, but our own Bryan Ashlock briefly discussed him last summer when we were gunning for the kid then:
#WeStillNeedAStriker: Sure, we just signed Emmanuel Adebayor, but that doesn't mean we don't need another one striker. I present you with M'Baye Niang from French Ligue 1 side Caen. Niang is only 16 years old, but in seven appearances for Caen he's scored three goals.Arsenal are also in for the young Frenchman (surprise surprise). The player is valued at €11 million. I can't say I've seen Niang play, but at 16 I think he'd be a good investment, especially if the deal for Leandro doesn't happen.
So what say you Spursland? I heard you clamoring for more polls, so do you want Tottenham to aggressively target M'Baye Niang?