The inside track on Georges-Kevin Nkoudou from France
01 September 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
After witnessing the progress Georges-Kevin Nkoudou has made in Ligue 1 over the last two years, Damien Degorre, respected journalist with French newspaper L'Equipe, believes our new signing has the potential to be a shining light in English football.
The rapid 21-year-old wide man completed his move from Marseille on transfer deadline day, having scored 10 goals in 41 appearances during a promising 2015-16 campaign at Stade Vélodrome.
Prior to that, he spent two years in and around the senior set-up at league rivals Nantes, racking up 32 appearances and scoring twice during a season of gradual progress in 2014-15.
However, as Damien points out, it’s been his electrifying form in the last 12 months that has really got people talking.
Here, Damien offers us his expert insight into the endeavours of ‘GK’ in the French top flight…
How much progress has GK made in France in the last couple of years?
Damien Degorre: “Honestly, I was very impressed about his season in Marseille last season. I saw Georges-Kevin play with Nantes one year before and I could not envisage at that moment that he would improve like he did last season with Marseille. He became more efficient, he became more important in the game. It’s as if he made two years (of progress) in one year. In Nantes it was like he was a child but in Marseille he became an adult and there is a reason why France coach Didier Deschamps regards him as a possible international in the next few years.”
What can you tell us about GK’s pace and abilities in front of goal?
Damien: “He has great pace but not only that, he’s also efficient in the last 20 metres and in decisive moments. I’m sure that with Tottenham, with a coach like Mauricio Pochettino who knows how to make players improve like he did last season, Georges-Kevin can be more and more influential. In the Premier League there is some space that you don’t necessarily have in Ligue 1. Georges-Kevin is a player who likes space and he is able to take advantage of that.”
Tell us about GK’s mentality and work ethic.
Damien: “He has a very good mentality. At Marseille he was not on the pitch for all games at the beginning, he was sometimes on the bench and each time the manager asked him to play he reacted very, very well. When he was very young, Georges-Kevin played in the Paris Saint-Germain academy. They didn’t keep him but he reacted very positively, he knew how to react with Nantes, he never gave up and he will never give up. Even if sometimes he is on the bench, he will never give up and he has a very positive attitude.”
How do you expect him to develop here at Spurs?
Damien: “You have to understand that it’s a step up for him to sign for Tottenham. The player himself has to know that if a club like Tottenham takes him, it’s because he can be better and better. I’m sure he will be.”