Andy Delort, Nice

One to watch: Andy Delort, Nice's surging striker

One to watch: Andy Delort, Nice's surging striker

Publish on 11/02 at 23:01


Andy Delort has lit up Ligue 1 Uber Eats in recent weeks, his brace against Angers SCO firing OGC Nice up into second behind Paris Saint-Germain, but what else is there to know about the well-travelled Algeria international?

Delort has hit the ground running since joining Nice from Montpellier Hérault SC at the end of August, tallying five goals and one assist in eight games with his new employers - and seven and two for each column in 2021/22 if you include his MHSC contributions.


Only Kylian Mbappé (with 83) has scored more goals in the French top-flight over the last three seasons than Delort's 44, and if the Nice man keeps it up, les Aiglons should find themselves challenging Paris Saint-Germain for top honours come the end of the season.


Back story:


Born in Sète to an Algerian mother and French father of Romani-Catalonian origin in October 1991, Delort joined local side FC Sète 34 at the age of six and spent most of the next decade with the Championnat National's club's age group teams.


He joined AC Ajaccio in 2008, and after top-scoring in France's under-19 league with 30 goals, he could have found himself playing under Jürgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund having been offered a contract after impressing on trial. Delort turned that down, though, and has since embarked on a journey which has taken him to 10 clubs across three different countries.


Spells at Wigan in England and Tigres UANL in Mexico - where he was teammates with one of his footballing inspirations in André-Pierre Gignac - didn't prove fruitful, but since returning to France, first with Toulouse FC, in 2017, he hasn't looked back. Fifty-four goals have followed, as have 10 international caps with Algeria.


Gaetan Laborde, Andy Delort, Montpellier


Style of play:


Delort is a complete attacking proposition, able to lead the line on his own or combine with a strike partner - something he did with aplomb alongside Gaëtan Laborde when the two were at Montpellier. He lists Eric Cantona and Wayne Rooney - as well as Gignac - among his footballing idols, and he shares their ability to score from range, and indeed some of their fire.


Delort has a long-running on-off rivalry Neymar Jr., and once dressed the Brazilian down for celebrating a fine free-kick for PSG against then-employers Montpellier: "I told him off for his somewhat arrogant attitude," Delort said. "It was important for me to tell him to his face." There is an underlying respect between the two, though, and they swapped jerseys after that game.


Current campaign:


Delort began the season still a Montpellier player, and found the target for La Paillade against Stade de Reims and FC Lorient inside the opening three weeks of the season, but Christophe Galtier was delighted to add him to Nice's attacking ranks a month after becoming les Aiglons' coach, fresh from winning the league with LOSC.


Fellow European aspirants like AS Monaco and Olympique Lyonnais have both been on the receiving end of Delort goals since, and his brace against Angers last weekend reinforced the point that the 30-year-old is both a great scorer of goals and a scorer of great goals; fast becoming a fans' favourite.


Watch: Delort rescues the win - and how! - against Angers



What they said:


"I tried out with Borussia Dortmund's under-19s. I then played with their reserves alongside Mario Götze and Shinji Kagawa. Götze was right behind me and already extraordinary. I got on well with him and thought we could do something, but in the end I wasn't ready."


- Delort on what might have been with Dortmund.


"He killed me with that nutmeg! In my head, I said to myself 'Oh, you b*****d'. But I liked it, it makes me laugh. Even the picture at the end in the changing rooms makes me laugh. It means I haven't gone unnoticed. And I know that deep down he's like me - except he's a star and he's got more money in his bank account. But he's still a joker and a good guy in the end."


- Delort on his quasi-rivalry with Neymar.


"I joined Nice to be a part of the project. I'm even happier when I see the facilities. It's the most professional, well-managed club I've been part of. Galtier brings a culture of winning to the team but also the whole club, the whole city, that's what's extraordinary about him."


- Delort on why he signed for Nice.

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