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Scouting… Nantes striker Emiliano Sala

Scouting… Nantes striker Emiliano Sala

From a new name linked, Ivan Santini, to a name City fans will be no stranger to at the moment, Emiliano Sala.

Sala, an Argentinian striker, has been linked constantly to the Bluebirds for the last month or so. Neil Warnock has even confirmed the links and reports suggest Cardiff have made a £20 million move for the striker, who has scored 13 goals in 18 appearances across all competitions this season for the French side.

But just how good is Sala and is he worth the big money fee that has been mooted? We spoke to a man in the know, Nantes resident and fan Simon Scutt.

On Sala’s upturn in form… 

“Sala scored 12 in each of the last two seasons and now has that number half way through the Ligue 1 season. I would put that down to a feeling of being fully settled in one club, previously he changed clubs season on season and is now in his fourth season with Nantes. He know his game and the league sufficiently to be able to succeed in such a way.”

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On his style of play…

“I would liken him a little to Olivier Giroud but Giroud when he arrived in England six or so seasons ago. He is strong in the air his goal against Rennes in nov a case in point, a looping header from deep in the penalty box getting in front of the last defender. He also has a fierce shot and his finishing has improved an awful lot in the last few seasons. He is not all that quick relatively speaking but he works incredibly hard for the team and puts a shift in every time he takes to the pitch. He should be used exclusively as the focal point of the attack.”

On Sala’s personality… 

“Given the amount of strikers he has seen off just at Nantes he must be a determined sort. His game uses his physicality that theoretically should suit the English game. He is 6ft1 tall and has succeeded in the somewhat physical Ligue 1.”

On Nantes’ stance…

“Sala was supposed to be moving on last summer and didn’t start two of the first three games of the season, Nantes are in a slightly odd situation given the sell on clause and also he enters in the last year of his contract at the beginning of the season. It feels very much now or never if Nantes want to get their moneys worth out of Sala. It also appears to be more the will of the President to sell than that of the manager Vahid Halilhodzic who would happily keep his main source of goals.”

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On Sala’s previous links…

“Its only really now that after two and a half season of good goal returns that people have been taking Sala seriously as a Ligue 1 top striker. Its taken these hauls for him to prove himself and now it feels like if he is to step up this is his moment. There was talk of a Galatarasay loan move at the end of the summer window which was refused by the club much to Sala’s disappointment.”

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On Cardiff’s interest…

“Cardiff seem to be the main suitor, and the EPL seems a certain landing ground for Sala given the finances available. It should be pointed out that Sala has expressed a preference to leave only for a club that plays European football. Yet to be seen whether the lure of Premier League contract may be sufficient to sway him.”

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