Italian website Calciomercato.com are reporting that we are interested in signing Alassane Plea from Nice in the summer, so what do we know about the Frenchman?
The 25 year old is not generally known as a goalscorer but he is having the best scoring season of his career with 17 goals in all competitions so far.
After starting out in Lyon’s academy, he made the switch to Nice in 2014, and has been a regular first team starter ever since. Under manager Lucien Favre during the last two seasons, he has invariably been used as a foil for top scorer Mario Balotelli.
Earlier this campaign, he partnered Super Mario up front in a 4-4-2 formation, and the system seemed to work going by the 4-0 hammering they gave champions Monaco back in September, where the French forward scored.
However, after heavy defeats against Marseille, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco, the formation was dropped in favour of a 4-3-3. Plea made the switch to the left hand side, and has played the majority io his football in that position since December.
Still, with Balotelli absent for the game against Guingamp in March, he scored four goals in a 5-2 victory from a centre forward position. His flexibility to play out wide as well as through the middle would certainly be a factor as to why Rafa maybe considering a move for him.
He does like to dribble with the ball, but he is also good at holding up play and bringing others into the game. He isn’t always the best defensively though which may count against him in the final reckoning when a summer short list is drawn up.
Plea is certainly a talent, and no doubt we are in need of more firepower up front. Yet, much will depend on the board and how much the manager will be given to spend.
The former France Under 21 international only signed a new deal back in January until 2021, and with Everton and Burnley also reportedly scouting the striker, the prospect of us getting this deal done cheaply is unlikely.