Top Ligue 1 Midfielders in 2018/19: Wahbi Khazri

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Wahbi Khazri was one of the delights of Ligue 1 football this past season and his quality in midfield helped fire his club Saint Etienne into a Europa League finish. He also finished with his highest points tally in European Fantasy League thus far with 74 points, and joined only four other players in midfield in Ligue 1 who were able to score 70 or more points.

Khazri has played for five clubs over an 11 year career which started at Bastia, to date playing for Bastia is still his longest stint at one club which lasted for five years. After that spell he switched to Bordeaux for two seasons and then made the move to the Premier League signing for Sunderland. Despite having a decent season in the north of England he wasn’t scoring enough goals for the club, just 3 in 38 league games plus he was obviously missing being in France and was loaned out to Rennes before Saint Etienne spotted his talents and bought him.

In his debut season for Saint Etienne Khazri has done well scoring 13 goals and assisting in another six meaning that he has been involved in 19 of the clubs 59 goals.

Khazri started the season by picking up 4 points as he scored a goal in Saint Etienne’s 2-1 win over Guingamp. The midfielder’s best game was against Monaco when his club won 2-0. Not only did he score both goals but because a clean sheet was obtained too he picked up 10 points.

Khazri’s most consistent and best period begun at the end of November when Saint Etienne were paired with Nantes and ended in mid January. In this time frame Khazri played in five games and gained points in every one of those matches. It was a fine period for the player that saw him score goals and make crucial assists as Saint Etienne started to believe that they could chase a European place. In that time he got 28 points.

The one problem for the 28 year old was his short temper which landed him with 10 yellow cards throughout the season and 1 red card. With better discipline he could have ended up earning easily another 10-15 points.

In the end Khazri helped Saint Etienne to reach the Europa League and it will be interesting to see if he stays around. He should do but his career suggests that he will be on the move soon. At the same time he has just had his personal best season as a football player so the thinking is that he will be fine at this club.

His value this season started at 7.5m, and that could be set to rise for the beginning of next season after his impressive return from midfield.

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Ligue 1 Fantasy Picks – Round 5

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We are only four weeks into the new season and standing champions Paris Saint-Germain have taken no time in asserting their dominance in the league.

After four rounds of games, PSG tops the league with a perfect record and expect some of their players in our best eleven picks. In standout fixtures this weekend, PSG and Marseille have easy home ties while Monaco have a tricky trip to Toulouse.
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M’Vila signs new three year contract at Saint-Etienne

m'vilaSaint-Etienne midfielder Yann M’Vila has been rewarded for his fine start to life at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard with a new three year contract, just six months after his arrival at the club. Having struggled at Rubin Kazan in Russia, M’Vila joined Saint-Etienne back in January and started 17 of the 18 remaining games for the campaign, helping the club get back to happier form after a poor start. The truth is, this is a great bit of business for Les Verts in retaining the services of one of the most talented, cultured players in the French top flight. If M’Vila can continue to contribute to such an upturn in fortunes as he has done in his first six months at the club then the future bodes well indeed.

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Ligue 1 Player of the Week – Matthieu Debuchy (St-Etienne)

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St-Etienne’s recent improved form faced a test on Saturday when they travelled to struggling Strasbourg. The visitors had won two of the previous three and haven’t been beaten in a while – their hosts, meanwhile, were on a run of games without a win and only six points above the relegation zone.

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Arsenal’s rejects shining in Ligue 1

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Time and time again, we have witnessed transfer moves resurrecting careers of football players.

Something similar is happening with a couple of former Arsenal players playing in Ligue 1 this season. The two players we are talking about here are Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Debuchy.
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