Tottenham Transfer Scenarios: Value Across All 20 Ligue 1 Clubs
Politics, when coupled with sport, is usually a dirty mix. Lawsuits, hearings, etc. are the norm when the two streams cross paths. (We all know you never cross streams)
In France, however, Ligue 1 is staring down the proverbial barrel. With much of Europe, Tottenham included, watching with interest, the French government could land them bargains.
Proposed tax rates within the country suddenly make it very likely that clubs need to get rid of big money players and cash in on lesser lights before major changes take place that could very well hamper any ability for Ligue 1 to be a productive football league.
Never mind if French President Francois Hollande already took stabs at Carlo Ancelotti over his total pay.
Tottenham surely could benefit from several economical moves, especially with the perceived notion that chairman Daniel Levy is taking young players to sell-on for profit again.
Here then is a list of all 20 Ligue 1 clubs and a player from each that could benefit Tottenham in either the short- or long-term.
Conditions for Selection
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Of course, it's not just about grabbing the first big name you see on the club's payroll and say "Player X can make them better!"
PSG, Lyon, Marseille and other big clubs certainly have gobs of talent that would help Tottenham, but there are some qualifications to be put in place.
1. One player per squad (as much as some squads have multiple players of worth to the list)
2. All players are 25 or younger.
3. Players who have already moved in this transfer window are not eligible.
4. Money for value plays a part.
Remember, this would be looking through the mind of chairman Daniel Levy, not Harry Redknapp or Andre Villas-Boas.
It is difficult to suggest players from some squads, such as the newly promoted ones. In that case, if you've got a great idea for a player, don't hesitate to share it below.
Ajaccio: Benjamin Andre
Andre scores the sole goal against Marseille
Ajaccio kept their heads above water last year after a late draw with Lyon and win over Toulouse secured another year of Ligue 1 play.
The squad often pushed play through Benjamin Andre, who chipped in four goals (including the winner in a 1-0 win against Marseille) for a team that hit the net a paltry 40 times.
With a team that trailed often, Andre was often forced into prolonged bouts of defensive duty, which lead to twelve yellow cards, contributing to Ligue 1's worst disciplined team.
Bastia: Wahbi Khazri
Not far away from Ajaccio lie blood rivals Bastia, who rejoin Ligue 1 after a seven-year hiatus.
Among the young players in the squad include Wahbi Khazri, who was their second leading scorer with nine goals, drawing attention from Blackburn as far back as January. (Goal.com)
The Mirror think Tottenham have some interest themselves.
Having been called up to the French U-21 squad this season as well, Khazri would be a cheap option for a backup wing player, even though he did sign a contract extension in May. (Eurosport)
Bordeaux: Lamine Sane
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Bordeaux's roller-coaster ride from Champions League quarterfinalists to out of Europe steadied itself after the squad returned to the Europa League.
Back in the defense, Lamine Sane played a key role by showing his versatility along the back line.
The 6'4" defender has been something of a revelation for the squad, considering he was an amateur until being signed in 2008. (Goal.com)
With four years of top-flight experience, he could surely dislodge Bongani Khumalo out of the squad and provide an extra body in the defense or slide into a defensive midfield role if necessary.
Brest: Paul Baysse
Brest were an interesting team in the previous campaign. They allowed the third-fewest amount of goals but scored the least goals in Ligue 1.
Part of the stellar backline was Paul Baysse, who was perhaps the most consistent performer at the club.
St. Etienne are looking into adding his defensive capabilities, according to Mercato365.
Again, this falls into the "extra body" category and, with the lack of central defenders and Spurs usually losing two or three to injury, extra cover on the cheap probably wouldn't hurt.
Evian: Yannick Sagbo
Sagbo w/second goal
Evian were the typical middle-of-the-road team in Ligue 1.
But among star names like Sydney Govou and Christian Poulson, it was 24-year old Yannick Sagbo who did the damage to the tune of 10 goals in league play.
West Ham have been mooted as a potential destination for the quick Ivory Coast international for somewhere in the region of €5 million. (Daily Mail)
Sagbo would provide a change of pace late in the game from the wings while adding an eye for goal too.
Lille: Dimitri Payet
Lille didn't exactly set the world alight early in the 2011-2012 season.
But, with Eden Hazard leading the charge, they won nine of their last eleven to claim third place.
With the arrival of Nolan Roux, Hazard and Dimitri Payet were given the third piece to a powerful attacking trio, and it showed, as Payet racked up four goals and three assists in the final nine matches.
Having been pulled in for roughly €10 million from Saint Etienne, a €12-€15 million bid would be a solid investment. (Goal.com)
Payet could challenge for a starting spot in the attacking roles at Spurs and could possibly dislodge Aaron Lennon from the right-wing position.
Lorient: Bruno Ecuele Manga
Ecuele Manga (Getty Images)
Lorient almost tumbled out of Ligue 1, owing much to the fact the clubs below them couldn't find a way to win in the home stretch of the season.
Lorient also owed quite a bit to Bruno Ecuele Manga, who put up some mind boggling stats at the west coast club.
Consider this (from SandalsForGoalposts):
378 clearances (second only to Ryan Shawcross) and better than Laurent Koscielny's rate when signed by Arsenal
Playing for a squad whose guts had been ripped out by Kevin Gameiro's departure, Ecuele Manga was the rock for Lorient and would provide great cover and competition for the center of the defense.
If anyone is wondering what he might look like, however, Ecuele Manga will not be at the Olympics after initially being selected for Gabon (SuperSport)
He also thinks he might be ready for a move, according to Sport.fr.
Lyon: Clement Grenier
Lyon have a wealth of talent within their ranks but, much like Tottenham, finished fourth in Ligue 1 and missed out on the Champions League (due to France only taking three squads).
We know that Hugo Lloris is on the market, but it's some of the lesser lights being promoted that are worth taking a look at.
Among them is midfielder Clement Grenier, who, along with Alexandre Lacazzette (I did a coin toss to be fair on who to pick) received playing time within the squad.
Both Lacazzette and Grenier were on the winning French U-19 World Cup squad.
With bigger names likely to go first, grabbing a player like Grenier now would be worth the chance if the price is reasonable. (Football.fr)
Marsielle: Jordan Ayew
It's difficult to explain how Marsielle went from world-beaters to mid-table last term in Ligue 1.
With Didier Deschamps gone and Elie Baup in, there is much to be said still about whether the club can rebound after a disastrous 2011-2012 campaign.
While Andre Ayew is the attention of many a club, little brother Jordan might be the more economical route.
Montpellier: Remy Cabella
Montpellier were the darlings of Ligue 1.
Led by the duo of Oliver Grioud and Younes Belhanda, the orange and blue-clad squad completed a stunning three-year progression from promoted squad to champions of France.
Underneath the radar on the squad was Remy Cabella, a midfield player who found his way into the squad late in the year and contributed to the late push for a title.
Nancy: Massadio Haidara
Haidara (r) (Getty Images)
Nancy was a middle-of-the-road squad in Ligue 1, and you would be hard pressed to name too many members of the squad.
However, Massadio Haidara is one you might want to think of.
Having picked up the starting spot at left back in the winter months, the 19-year old helped solidify the defense as Nancy picked up seven wins and six draws in the back half of their season.
Nice: Fabian Monzon
Much like Nancy, OGC Nice were a mid-table squad that wasn't particularly splashy.
That would discount left-back Fabian Monzon, whose marauding runs down the left played out to the tune of eight goals.
PSG: Mamadou Sakho
Money bags club PSG don't have their Ligue 1 title....yet.
But it can't be helped to think that, much like Manchester City, PSG will plug in enough cash to take themselves to the top.
Of course, because of the general nature of this list, PSG are probably the club most affected by the taxman.
Curiously, one of the main stories around the club was that of Mamadou Sakho, who was named club captain but has watched his time on the pitch evaporate since Carlo Ancelotti took charge.(Mercato 365)
With a diminished role might come a diminished price tag, and for such a promising central defender, it might be worth looking into.
Rennes: Yann M'Vila
Stade Rennes just missed out on European Football by finishing sixth in Ligue 1.
At the heart of the operation was Yann M'Vila, who featured as a holding midfielder in Rennes' squad.
A solid passer and defender in front of the backline, M'Vila has had offers from Arsenal (Mirror) but might have seen his stock drop due to his antics at Euro 2012.
Rennes are looking to offload the player, but, pending the French Football Federation investigation, his value might be lowered.. (Soccernet)
Reims: Christopher Glombard
Reims v Angers (Glombard w/first goal)
Stade de Reims placed second in Ligue 2. You may or may not have even known they existed, but they will be playing in Ligue 1 this season.
Reims' glory years came in the 40's and 50's, and they actually have won six Ligue 1 titles. (Official site)
That being said, they are now largely anonymous outside of France, and, Kamel Ghilas aside, are anonymous on the pitch as well.
Christopher Glombard was a Bordeaux trainee before arriving at the club two years ago, playing in the right-back position. (LFP site)
He might be a sign-and-loan type and certainly a cheap acquisition.
Saint-Etienne: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Saint-Etienne were a pleasant surprise last season, finishing seventh in Ligue 1.
Much of that credit falls squarely on the shoulders of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
A clean look at the player might be enough for some discussions, seeing how bereft of forwards Tottenham currently are.
Sochaux: Ryad Boudebouz
But don't blame that on Ryad Boudebouz, who motored in from the wings for six goals and five assists.
Attackers are always in demand, and Sochaux probably will not hold on to him. Spurs could do with some alternatives on the flanks.
Toulouse: Ali Ahamada
Toulouse surprised many onlookers in Ligue 1 with an eighth-place finish.
The main reason? Ali Ahamada.
Ahamada led Ligue 1 with 19 clean sheets and was one of only three goalkeepers not to concede more than three goals in a match.
Taking over the starting job when he was 19, Ahamada is a prime goalkeeping prospect. Even with a contract extension signed at the beginning of the year, he's probably a better bet than current hot commodity Jack Butland. (Ligue 1 site)
Troyes: Djibril Sidibe
Sedan v Troyes (Sidibe w/second goal)
Troyes was the final squad promoted to Ligue 1, finishing third in Ligue 2.
Among the names of note is Djibril Sidibe.
Sidibe started 32 matches and drew enough attention in the defense that Lille have taken an interest in the player as a possible replacement for Mathieu Debuchy. (FootLille)
At around a mooted €3 million, that would be a steal if Sidibe becomes anything like Debuchy.
Valenciennes: Vincent Aboubakar
Valenciennes v Sochaux (Aboubakar w/goals one and three)
Valenciennes were another of the relegation-dodgers after their win over Caen in the last match condemned their opponents to the drop.
Responsible for setting up that last day win was Vincent Aboubakar, a 20-year old Cameroon international who chipped in six goals for the squad last season. (Lavoix)
Aboubakar could be a useful forward with seasoning and might stand a chance as a sign-and-loan player.