Stoke City eyeing a move for this French defensive rock: Can he take them to the next level?

Transfer Story

Relegated from Ligue 1, Nancy centre-back, Modou Diagne is apparently the subject of interest at Stoke-on-Trent. The Nancy centre-back endured a mixed season with him being on the bench on many occasions.

But evidently, the spark and glimpse of his ability that he had shown in his limited time at Nancy has interested the Potters’ boss enough to seriously the youngster.

Diagne is currently tied to his present club till 2019 but the fact that Nancy have been relegated from Ligue 1 this season has apparently had an effect on player’s willingness to continue with the club.

The Frenchman is valued at £3.5m and a serious offer for the centre-back might see him leaving the club this summer.

Player stats

  • The 23-year old made only 22 appearances in the Ligue 1 this season with Nancy, even scoring a goal in the process.
  • The player is adept in playing long balls and through passes, a quality that is very much similar to Stoke’s playing style.
  • He has maintained a passing accuracy of 79% in the league but has contributed only 4 key passes to the team. Not a fan of going forward, the Frenchman finds solace in staying back and defending the backline.
  • The player’s tactical awareness along with his ball interception skills are some of the strong points of the individual but the 23-year old had been exposed a number of times while tackling aerial threats. (via WhoScored)

What’ll he offer the club?

The Potters have struggled to plug their defensive holes the entire season which saw them conceding an astounding 56 goals. Mark Hughes would not be impressed by this stat and it is evident that he would be looking for better options at the back.

Although Hughes likes his defenders to play long balls through to their frontline while protecting the backline, a quality evident in Diagne, the player’s weakness in long balls and lack of consistency might make it a tricky investment for Hughes.

On the other hand, the player is also only 23 years of age and with time and opportunity both ahead of him, Hughes will hope he can be developed into a top centre-back.

Worth the money?

Already lacking in defence, it is a risk that would be worth taking for £3.5m. The fans are unhappy with the club’s performance this past season and their defenders’ inability to defend sturdily.

Nonetheless, the next season would be vital for Hughes, as it would determine his future at the club, and who knows, the French International might prove to be the missing puzzle piece in Stoke’s defence.

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