Salif Abdul Samed
23-year-old midfielder Salif Abdul Samed has caught the eye with recent performances for French side Lens. Last season, the Ligue 1 outfit massively outperformed their own expectations and Samed happened to be the hidden secret star at the base of the French club's midfield.
Born in Ghana in 2000, Abdul Samed started his career playing for the JMG Academy, set up by famed Frenchman Jean-Marc Guillou who helped kick star tthe careers of Kolo and Yaya Toure, and a move followed shortly thereafter with a move to Clermont on loan in France. Two years were spent at Clermont, before the club opted to sign Abdul Samed on a permanent basis and gave the youngster a four-year deal. After just one season, Lens scouts were sufficiently impressed and opted to sign the now Ghana international for around 5.2 million euros. With a five-year deal under his belt, the defensive midfielder now had an opportunity and time to prove his talent.
This really came to fruition throughout last season, but perhaps this season's Champions League win over Arsenal is the time when spectators outside of France have started to take notice of this youngster's incredible talent. Comfortable on the ball, quick, the ability to press and a fantastic tackler of the ball, Abdul Samed is a wonderful all rounder who will likely end up at a club much larger than Lens in the short-to-medium term. The player's value has shot up to 18 million euros on Transfermarkt, from just 10 million euros one year ago after impressive performances.
With seven caps for the Black Stars, Abdul Samed has only just begun his international career, but he was a member of the Ghana national team squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Expect this player to appear much more for his country in the near future.
What makes Abdul Samed so exciting is that he has already built a solid ground and foundation as a strong defensive midfielder, even at his young age of just 23-years-old, he performs with the experience and power of a player in his late 20's.
It is reported that Paris St Germain have been so impressed that they are considering an eventual transfer move for the midfielder. Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was known to ask questions about Abdul Samed after the defeat to Lens.
Keep an eye out for this player, he is sure to be one of the best holding midfielders in Europe.
Current Ability: 35/50
Potential Ability: 45/50