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One to watch: Amine Gouiri, Nice's free-scoring young forward

Publish on 12/01/2022 at 21:29

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OGC Nice are Paris Saint-Germain's closest challengers this season, and Amine Gouiri is a large part of the reason why...

One of the hottest attacking prospects in world football, 21-year-old Gouiri has been the wind beneath les Aiglons' wings this season, helping himself to nine goals and five assists as Nice have pulled up to second behind PSG.

 

An Olympique Lyonnais youth product with 58 youth international caps with France to his name - as well as 41 goals - what else is there to know about the attacking prodigy?

 

Back story:

 

Born in Bourgoin-Jallieu, a city 25 miles southeast of Lyon, in February 2000, Gouiri shares a hometown with former French Rugby Union internationals Julien Bonnaire, Marc Cécillon and Stéphane Glas, but this son of Algerian parents only ever had eyes for the beautiful game.

 

He joined the fabled Lyon youth academy at the age of 13, where he raced through their age group teams alongside Maxence Caqueret, whom he is a day younger than, and made his Ligue 1 Uber Eats debut with les Gones in November 2017 at the age of three months before his 18th birthday.

 

With Memphis Depay and Moussa Dembélé among the attacker on OL's books over the last few seasons, Gouiri found first-team opportunities at a premium at the Groupama Stadium, and weas granted his wish to leave for Nice at the start of last season.

 

Bruno Genesio, Amine Gouri, NIce

 

Style of play:

 

Gouiri has an athletic 5'11 frame but he leans on his technique and speed of thought as much as any of his physical attributes. Now leading the line for Nice, Gouiri is equally happy starting deeper and wider, with a preference for the left-hand side from where he can cut inside and wreak havoc on his favoured right foot. Comparisons with former Lyon striker and current Real Madrid and France superstar Karim Benzema are beginning to look increasingly justified.

 

Current campaign:

 

The owner of 12 goals and seven assists last season, his first at the Allianz Riviera, Gouri wasted little time in opening his account in the current campaign, making one and taking another in a 4-0 win over champions LOSC in Round 2. Goal contributions against AS Monaco and Olympique de Marseille since reaffirmed his big-game credentials, and coach Christophe Galtier will be delighted that he is averaging just 109 minutes to either score or assist.

 

Watch: Gouiri scored a race in the recent 2-1 win at Clermont

 

 

What they said:

 

"He's a pure talent who knows where the goal is. He came to see me and said he needed to play and wanted to leave. I can understand that. Sometimes you get the feeling you're letting go of a young player who could do a job for you, but maybe the time was right."

 

- Lyon sporting director Juninho on allowing Gouiri to leave.

 

"I like Benzema. A lot of people say we have pretty much the same style of play. At the end of the day I like that because he's a really great player. But, everyone has their own path. He forged his own. Now it's up to me to do mine."

 

- Gouiri on comparisons with Benzema.