Nabil Fekir has made a shock move to Real Betis just a year after he was so close to joining Liverpool and winning the Champions League.
For Nabil Fekir, a lot can change in a matter of months.
About 12 months ago, he was celebrating France’s second World Cup triumph in Moscow and was looking forward to enjoying the elite side of football like many of his teammates from the squad. Indeed, after sensational displays for Lyon, Fekir was touted for a big move in the summer of 2018.
While many clubs were keen on signing him, Nabil Fekir had his heart set on a move to Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp was and apparently still is a huge fan of the left-footed forward. The player’s ability is such that he can score and provide goals on a consistent basis.
And although Liverpool had agreed a deal with the club and the player, fate showed up a card no one expected. Medical tests showed the risk of recurrence of a knee injury Fekir suffered in his early days. That report saw the move collapse.
Kudos to the Frenchman though for not letting the devastation consume him. Fekir would go on to continue highlighting his importance for Les Gones as the team impressed in France and in the Champions League. With just a year left on his contract, Jean-Michel Aulas understood that the player needed to leave.
Aulas isn’t one of the easiest negotiator and never likes to see star players leave. However, even the club’s president acknowledged that Fekir needed to move out of France and enjoy the sort of rewards the likes of Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Samuel Umtiti have enjoyed.
It was surprising that no big club really made a concrete offer for a player who was available for a bargain. Perhaps it was the suspected knee worry that put off clubs but it is clear that the issue isn’t as serious as it had been made out.
Real Betis though, were willing to take a risk. The Andalusian outfit has embarked on project which revolves around taking the club to the top echelons of football in Spain one step at a time. The club has made very shrewd investments in the market the last couple of years.
Boasting the likes of William Carvalho, Andres Guardado, Sergio Canales and Junior Firpo, the Balompe side is expected to do well next season.
With Giovani Lo Celso likely to leave for Tottenham, Betis will invest the same money on a suitable replacement. Thanks to a really good scouting network, the Spaniards are going to find another gem in the near future.
While Nabil Fekir may have joined a club banking on guarded ambitions, he will play a crucial role in taking the club forward. In the short term, the move may seem surprising but in time, it will make a lot of sense.
Real Betis are going to be one of many surprise packages of the next season and if Fekir does well for them, who’s to stop him from joining a more illustrious outfit in the future?