Up until September 2014, not many people really knew much about Lyon youngster Nabil Fekir.
Although he had joined the club three years previous, it is only this season that he has hit the ground running, notching up an impressive 11 goals and seven assists. This has not gone un-noticed at Clairefontaine, and he has been rewarded for his electric campaign with a call-up to the national team for France's matches against Brazil and Denmark.
The goal-scoring exploits of his club-mate Alexandre Lacazette may have grabbed most of the headlines in France, but his call-up to the squad will surely reveal the full extent of the 21-year-old's potential.
If the controversial tug of war between the French and Algerian national team is anything to go by, supporters of Les Bleus can only feel optimistic about potentially seeing Fekir make his much anticipated debut against Brazil on March 26.
Persuading Fekir to pick France
Much had been said about the his decision to pick France ahead of Algeria, but it is reported that Didier Deschamps was so keen to secure the services that he personally intervened in order to convince the youngster.
Speaking to the press on Thursday, Deschamps revealed that Fekier has "great potential" and offers "another attacking dimension" to his current frontmen Olivier Giroud and Karim Benzema.
Certainly, from what Fekir has shown thus far, he has the qualities required to make a success of his first national call-up and leave Algeria ruing "what could have been" had they managed to recruit him.
The Franco-Algerian possesses a deadly left-foot, electric pace and excellent hold-up play; all attributes which make him a versatile forward able to play in a central attacking role or as a play-maker.
A product of Lyon's youth system, Fekir's impressive performances have even had Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas gushing “He is my Messi, in a match he is capable, like Lionel Messi, of shaking things up".
It is no wonder then that Fekir's performances have reportedly drawn interest from a host of prestigious European clubs, most notably Arsenal, and it's easy to see why with comparisons having been drawn between Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Bayern Munich's Mario Gotze.
However, Fekir has revealed that he is not keen to leave his boyhood club just yet, recently telling French newspaper L'Equipe: "I don’t want to leave Lyon too early and end up sitting on a sub’s bench somewhere."
Indeed, with the prospect of a starting role in the French national team during Euro 2016 looking a more and more distinct possibility, Fekir would be wise to remain with his current club a little while longer.
In the meantime, Deschamps and his staff can breathe a sigh of relief as they have managed to secure the services of a young player with undoubted quality.
Are you excited by the future of Nabil Fekir?
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