The Ligue 1 Right Midfielder of the Year is Florian Thauvin:The 20-year-old attacking midfielder has become one of France’s hottest properties in recent months. Considering the player only signed his first professional contract 3 years ago, the fame and media exposure attached to his newfound talent is something he may not be contending with so well.
The attacking midfielder played 32 games in Ligue 1 this season scoring 10 goals but providing only 1 assist for the Corsican side SC Bastia. Arsenal, Newcastle and others chased Thauvin in January, but he agreed a deal to sign for Lille and remain in France instead. Part of the deal indicated that he would be loaned straight back to Bastia until the end of the 2012/2013 season.
Alongside Wahbi Khazri, Thauvin single handedly provided the creativity and the goals with his stunning left foot to safely keep Bastia in Ligue 1 for next season. He played down the left and right flanks last season showing how versatile he can be which is certainly an asset to have as he competes for a place in the Lille starting XI next season. He is strong, quick and skillful all favorable attributes in a modern attacking midfielder. His left foot is arguably not as accurate as it is powerful, but at the tender age of 20, practice can be had. Watch this exciting talent’s best bits to date below:
The Frenchman was awarded Young Player of the Year at the annual UNFP awards ceremony pipping Marco Verratti, Remi Cabella and Lucas Digne in the process.
Arguably, Thauvin’s greatest asset is his movement off the ball. He works tirelessly to provide options for his central midfielders, even if they decide not to play the ball he is offering. It is this especially, which makes him cut out for future success. He is by no means a player with a lack of motivation or drive to become the best of his kind, at least on the pitch.
Recently, Thauvin made a series of slightly unnerving comments about his future. Despite not having actually played a single minute for Lille yet, he claimed that the project ‘is not what it once was’ and he ‘wants to play Champions League football’. Perhaps the U20’s player’s recent rapid surge into the limelight is getting the better of him.
Lille will do well to now rectify the situation and ensure that Thauvin remains a grounded individual in order to get the best out of him. The French U20’s are set to begin their World Cup campaign in Turkey and there is no doubt about how key Thauvin could be to any success they collectively have from this tournament.