5 Ligue 1 Players EPL Players Should Be Targeting

Nicholas McGeeContributor IAugust 13, 2013

MONTPELLIER, FRANCE - AUGUST 10:  Remy Cabella of Montpellier Herault SC in action during the Ligue 1 match between Montpellier Herault SC and Toulouse FC at Stade de la Mosson on August 10, 2012 in Montpellier, France.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

English Premier League clubs have often used Ligue 1 talent to help bolster their squads, Arsenal have regularly recruited from France with great success and Newcastle United have used the affordability of Gallic players to their advantage in recent times. 

While there have not been players making the trip across the channel this summer, Arsenal have brought in Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre and Etienne Capoue made the move from Toulouse to Tottenham.

Still, there are number of players in Ligue 1 that could be of great use to Premier League sides. Bleacher Report looks at five Ligue 1 players that Premier League clubs should be targeting.

Kurt Zouma - Saint-Etienne

He may be just 18 years of the age, but centre-back Kurt Zouma has already shown that he has the qualities to succeed at the highest level.

Zouma was part of the France Under-20 side that won the World Cup in July, and he has established himself as a regular for Christophe Galtier's men at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard.

Physical, assured and with an eye for goal, Zouma looks to have to a complete set of skills to make impact in European football.

Zouma has made 46 appearances for Les Verts in the last two seasons, scoring four goals and, although he has yet to complete a full season at Saint-Etienne, he has demonstrated more than enough ability to attract the attention of some of the Premier League's top clubs.

Remy Cabella - Montpellier

Montpellier have already lost the likes of Younes Belhanda and Olivier Giroud in the last two years, but, in attacking midfielder Remy Cabella, they still possess one of the hottest talents in French football.

Cabella hit the target in Montpellier's 1-1 draw in the season opener with Paris Saint-Germain on Friday, and he already appears to be taking his position as the focal point of the Montpellier forward line.

The 23-year-old has always had undoubted potential, but, with Belhanda out of the picture, he has the opportunity to prove just how effective he can be.

Montpellier president Louis Nicollin has hardly been averse to selling players in recently, and the acquisition of Cabella could prove to be a huge boost for a mid-table Premier League side.

Mathieu Valbuena - Marseille

Marseille's much-heralded playmaker Mathieu Valbuena has long been one of the best players in Ligue 1, but, despite making a big impression at the Stade Velodrome, he has yet to make a move that could enhance his reputation on the world stage.

Valbuena is the creative heart of the majority of Marseille's forays forward, and he played a pivotal role as they finished second in Ligue 1 last term, scoring five goals and totaling 15 assists.

Marseille made a fantastic start to the new campaign, overcoming Guingamp 3-0, with Valbuena almost scoring with a spectacular overhead kick.

Les Phoceens will be playing Champions League this term, but if one of England's big guns come calling, then Valbuena may be convinced to finally move abroad.

Ryad Boudebouz - Sochaux

Premier League teams looking for a cheaper option in attacking midfield could do worse than to take a punt on Ryad Boudebouz.

The Algerian has disappointed in the last two seasons, with Sochaux narrowly avoiding relegation in both campaigns.

The 23-year-old has struggled to fulfill the promise he showed in the 2010-11 seasonwhen he scored eight times and provided eight assistsbut if he can refocus and secure a fresh start with a new club, he may be able to turn his career around and become one of Europe's top players.

Cheick Diabate - Bordeaux

Midway through last season, it looked as if Yoan Gouffran had cemented his place as Bordeaux's primary striking option.

However, Gouffran was sold to Newcastle in January, leaving Cheick Diabate as the club's first-choice forward.

It is a role that the Malian has relished, with the 25-year-old scoring a double in the Coupe de France final as Bordeaux overcame Evian 3-2.

Diabate may not be the most technically gifted player, but with his strength, height and finishing ability, he could prove to be a valuable asset for those Premier League clubs in the market for an affordable goalscorer.