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Why Burnley are right in chasing Saint-Etienne’s Harold Moukoudi

Why Burnley are right in chasing Saint-Etienne’s Harold Moukoudi

Burnley are locked in a transfer battle with West Brom, Derby, Stoke and Leeds to sign Saint-Etienne star Harold Moukoudi, according to the Daily Star.

The 22-year-old is highly rated in France and has impressed under Claude Puel so far this season. Moukoudi has made 15 appearances for Les Verts this term – 11 of them coming in Ligue 1. He joined Saint-Etienne from Le Havre last year. The French-born player represented France at youth level but made his senior international debut for Cameroon in October.

Moukoudi started life out in Le Havre’s U19s, before being moved into the first-team in July 2016. However, it didn’t take long for a much bigger French team to come knocking. In July 2019, Saint-Etienne acquired the 22-year-old on a free transfer and has been using the centre-back on a somewhat often basis this season.

Moukoudi maes a tackle (Image credit: Getty)

The centre-back has played 11 Ligue 1 matches this season, picking up just three yellow cards and averaging a pass success rate of 86.8%. Moukoudi has also averaged a rating of 6.76/10 in the league, which goes to show the 22-year-old is consistent with his performances in France (WhoScored).

The Bondy-born defender has also played 193 minutes in the UEFA Europa League this season, which should be some good exposure to high-level football for the 22-year-old.

If out of favour Ben Gibson is to leave Burnley in search of regular football then Dyche would be wary of the need to recruit at the back. Moukoudi has benefited from the injury of on-loan Arsenal defender William Saliba to become one of the key players in Claude Puel’s team. The Cameroon international is tied to Saint Etienne until 2023.

Saint-Etienne are struggling in the French top-flight with just one win from the last seven games under the management of former Leicester City boss Claude Puel.

Moukoudi was one of the hotly-tipped youngsters at Le Havre. Paul Pogba, Dimitri Payet, Riyad Mahrez and Lassana Diarra are among the big names to have started their careers at the French second-tier outfit. He played for Le Havre, notching up 59 games between 2016-2019. Find out which offer the famous jackpot that never goes below $1 Million, which could be useful for Moukoudi and Burnley. 

Moukoudi in action (Image credit: Getty)

Moukoudi is no stranger to making a tackle when necessary, which is an important trait for a centre back. Given his stature, which reads 6ft4in tall, it is no surprise to see that the defender is good in the air, which would provide Derby with an asset for defending set pieces and crosses into the penalty area.

If Burnley are in for Moukoudi, they face stiff competition with Derby looking to bolster their defensive options after club captain Richard Keogh’s contract was terminated, with Stoke and West Brom looking to do the same.

Verdict

Moukoudi is playing at a high level right now and would be ready to come to Burnley. However, Moukoudi will probably want to be playing regularly, so Sean Dyche will have to decide if he can actually offer the centre-back the game time he’ll likely demand due to his current exposure in France.

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