One of the leading figures in Super Eagles’ attack, Moses Simon, is in the middle of a big tussle involving Leeds United of England and French club, Nice.
Simon is on the verge of joining Nice from Nantes, which have been discussing a transfer with the Lique 1 club for a while. But Leeds have other ideas. The Whites face the likely reality of losing Raphinha this summer, with the winger seemingly closing in on a move to Chelsea.
The Blues’ bid could surpass £60 million and is reportedly agreed with Leeds, but Leeds Manager, Jesse Marsch, now has a tricky job to do to replace the Brazilian, as well as Kalvin Phillips, who is Manchester City-bound.
One of the leading candidates to fill the void out wide is the aforementioned Simon, who is destined for a move this summer.
It seems inevitable Simon will leave Nantes this summer, and there have been reports that Nice have already agreed personal terms with the winger. But there are contrasting reports over how close Nice are to agreeing a deal with Nantes, with the latter reportedly playing hardball, demanding £12.9million.
GetFranceFootball have reported a deal is set to go ahead, but other reports in France claim Nantes are not ready to commission a deal.
Meanwhile, RMC Sport says Leeds are trying to hijack the deal amid the rapidly progressing Raphinha situation. Simone is a 26-year-old forward and winger who has been with Nantes for the last two years, moving on from La Liga side Levante.
He is a 53-time Nigeria international, who came through at Slovakian side, Trencin, having briefly played in Ajax’s youth system. His football education is a rather diverse one, with Moses going on to play for Gent before joining Levante in 2018.
Simon is a pacey left winger by trade, often operating in the three being the striker at Nantes. He scored six and assisted eight in Ligue 1 in the season just gone, with Nantes achieving a mid-table finish, finishing ninth.
Simon also managed six goals and five assists in ligue 1 in the previous season, so his numbers are pretty consistent.
What you will notice from watching Simon is that he is very composed in front of goal, especially for a winger. He is a calm finisher, not afraid to take an extra touch in the box.
Like a typical pacey winger, he likes to outrun his man to reach the byline before chopping the ball back in the box.
Generally, that’s where his strengths lie, rather than early, long crosses into the box. The 26-year-old is also very tricky on the ball, and he often beats opponents by getting the ball out of his feet quickly before beating them with his long-striding run, almost Wilfried Zaha-like.