Elye Wahi, Montpellier
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One to watch Elye Wahi, Montpellier's teenaged goal-machine

One to watch Elye Wahi, Montpellier's teenaged goal-machine

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Publish on 09/27 at 09:26 - S. TELFORD

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Elye Wahi was the top-scoring teenager in Europe last season, and he has picked up where he left off in the current campaign with four goals and an assist in eight games with Montpellier Hérault SC.

Wahi plundered 10 and two in each column at the tender age of 18 last season, his goal-involvements coming in at a rate of one every 161 minutes he played, and he has continued in a similar vein.  

 

Now a France under-21 international for good measure, when Wahi isn't tearing up opposition defences he is often found in a recording studio in his spare time, but it is on the field where he makes his sweetest music. Ligue1.com takes a closer look…


Back story:

 

Born in Courcouronnes, a new town 30 kilometres south of Paris, on 2 January 2003, Wahi shares a hometown with former Bayern Munich and Juventus centre-back Medhi Benatia, Lilian Thuram's cousin Yohann, as well as French rapper Ol Kainry, and he developed a passion for football and music from an early age.

 

Wahi was in SM Caen's youth academy between the ages of 13 and 15, but was released by the les Vikings in 2018 before being picked up by Montpellier, and he signed his first professional contract just a year later.

 

He came on and scored for Montpellier in his second senior game as La Paillade were beaten 3-2 by AS Monaco in January 21 just two weeks past his 18th birthday, making Wahi their second-youngest player ever to find the target in the French top flight after Abdoulaye Cissé.

 

He has hasn't stopped scoring since.

 

Style of play:

 

Wahi ended up as Montpellier's 10-goal top scorer last season despite starting just 21 of a possible 38 games, and seven those in the line behind striker Valère Germain in Olivier Dall'Oglio's preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

 

Germain's role has gone to Wahi on a full-time basis this term, though, with the 19-year-old's combination of grace and athleticism making him an absolute handful for opposition markers. Almost as quick with the ball as without it, expect Wahi to stay up front from now on.

 

Watch: Wahi's best goal yet for Montpellier?



Current campaign:

 

Wahi didn't score until Round 4 of the current campaign, but then duly bagged two and laid on another as Montpellier thrashed Stade Brestois 29 7-0 at the Stade Francis-Le Blé. Goals against AC Ajaccio and LOSC followed before he was called up to Sylvain Ripoll's France under-21s.

 

In a squad that includes Wesley Fofana - now the most expensive defender of all time - and Thuram's nephew, OGC Nice midfielder Khéphren, Wahi has shone with les Bluets over the recent international break, and scored in his second France outing, against Belgium.

 

What they said:

 

"He was two or three years ahead of his peers in terms of what he could do. He quickly outclassed them. During a tournament that we hosted, I saw him score a volley with the ball falling vertically out of the sky, like watching [Zinedine] Zidane in the 2002 Champions League final, but the boy was just 11 years old!"

 

- Pierre Ville, the former president of Wahi's first club JS Suresnes.

 

"Elye is passionate about music. He likes to go to concerts and even sings pretty well himself. Without ever thinking about breaking through and making it a career, he sometimes goes to the studio to sing. It's his hobby."

 

- Wahi's childhood friend, speaking to Goal.com.

 

"We're very happy that Elye continues to progress with us. He has shown that he has the capacity to integrate into the professional group and play at that level, so we're very happy to have extended his contract."

 

- Montpellier's president Laurent Nicollin when Wahi extended his deal in last February.