Throughout this transfer window, the final destination of Algerian left-back Faouzi Ghoulam has been unclear. The Saint-Etienne player has been linked with Italian side Torino, Spanish side Granada and English sides QPR and Sunderland. So today we look at why the 22-year-old is so in demand and just how good a footballer he can become.
Ghoulam was born in central France to Algerian parents. He was part of a huge family, as he had 8 brothers and 2 sisters. It was clear that sport was important to the Ghoulam family, one of Faouzi’s brothers represented France in the 2004 Cross Country Championships. It would be Faouzi, though, who would take the biggest strides in his chosen field.
Having been part of the Saint-Etienne youth setup from a very early age, Ghoulam made his first senior appearance for his club in September 2010, at the young age of 19. Since that day, he has made a further 63 appearances for the club in 3 seasons, which culminated in Saint-Etienne winning the Coupe de la Ligue last season, even though he was an unused substitute that day.
Ghoulam is a traditional full-back: he is a left-footed left-back, is quick and is never afraid to go forward and join in with the attack. In fact, Ghoulam has a very good delivery from his left foot, and made an assist from a cross on his International debut with Algeria. Last season, he created 24 chances for his teammates, which lead to 3 assists in his 19 league games. Clearly, Ghoulam is not only a capable defender but also is a useful asset going forwards.
Faouzi Ghoulam is undoubtedly a great prospect for the future. If he moves to England, he will need to work on the physical side of his game to adapt to the English style of play, but I am sure that whichever club he may go to will have the necessary coaching to make sure that Ghoulam is quick to adapt to the Premier League. He is in many senses a very raw talent, but there is a lot of potential to be unlocked if he is managed in the correct way. Faouzi Ghoulam is most certainly one to watch for the future.