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Ivorian Jean-Michael Seri Lights Up the French Ligue

There is a face blooming in the French Ligue 1. Meet Nice hotshot Jean-Michael Seri who may well stir up the upcoming summer transfer and possibly ruin Manchester United’s plans of getting PSG Ivorian defender, Serge Aurier.

Aurier is supposedly a planned move to fill in for Antonio Valencia – soon to retire from his long-serving duties with the Red Devils – but the French giants are prepared to include their defender in a deal taking Seri to Parc des Princes after he caught Unai Emery’s attention.

Dubbed the next midfield maestro; and not just any kind, it is tremendous and not so surprising that the 25-year-old, also of Ivorian descent, has been named the best African player in Ligue 1.

And now, all of Europe wants him and they cannot get enough of the tactful, resourceful and clever midfielder. The £20m-rated player has been at the heart of Nice’s exciting headline-making campaign in the French top tier league as the club makes its way to a first ever Champions League qualification.

His true strength lies in his dedication, hard work, humility and willingness to learn; all bottled up into one classical trait and the reason behind the rise of this budding talent.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”I listen to criticism rather than praise because that’s the way to improve. You can’t make progress if you only focus on the things you do right,”[/perfectpullquote]

he told Sportif 225 in his homeland.

But the 5’6″ tall midfielder is just no ordinary talent. He has an invincible impact. The ball does the talking for him leaving a long term effect of his role.

Six league goals and nine assists in 32 outings may not raise many eyebrows. How about 2,403 passes, second-highest in assists, 90% pass accuracy, top chance creator for Nice with 71 in addition to playing the most defensive actions (51) of any midfielder or forward for current Ligue 1 club, this season?

PSG’s Thiago Motta has completed more passes (2,427) this season, while Morgan Sanson leads with 14 assists. The Ivorian has made it his number one priority to keep the ball on the pitch and with those incredible statistics, a transfer move beckons prepared with persistent tactics to lure Seri away from Nice.

In addition to PSG, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspurs, Southampton, and Barcelona have also been linked with a special interest in Seri. Barcelona has been one of his ambitious destinations. He also has a strong admiration for Xavi, who he considers his idol and role model. Good choice for a legend to emulate.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”He (Xavi) is someone I looked at for a long time and analyzed his game. Xavi has the ability to calm the game, not by voice, but by what he does with the ball,”[/perfectpullquote]

he added.

“He is thoughtful, makes simple but clever moves and doesn’t lose the ball.”

However, it is not about making headlines. Any possible move must not compromise Seri’s desire to play. That means; game time is at the top of his list.

Earlier in May this year, he was quoted saying, “There are a lot of clubs that follow me. But there is nothing done.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“If I leave, it will be to join a club where there is a real desire to play football as Nice. And I’m not going to be on the bench, I’m leaving only if I know I’m going to play.”[/perfectpullquote]

Seri now joins the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Andre Ayew, Gervinho and Sofiane Boufal among others, in winning the Marc-Vivien Foe trophy – named in honor of former Cameroon international Foe, who died after collapsing on the pitch in 2003.

The midfielder joined Nice in 2015 but his career started with Ivory Coast Giants ASEC Mimosas followed by stints with Portuguese sides FC Porto and Pacos de Ferreira, respectively.

His international debut kicked-off in September 2005 against Sierra Leone and has since been capped 13 times including at the recent AFCON Games in Gabon where Ivory Coast suffered an early group stage exit.



Featured photo: Getty Images

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