After last season’s enormously successful raid on France’s Ligue 1 for then-teenager Anthony Martial, Manchester United scouts are said to be over the Channel once more, this time eyeing up 19-year-old Bordeaux sensation Adam Ounas.
The Mirror broke the rumour, which can be traced back to Le10Sport.com in April, with the French site also crediting Martial’s former club AS Monaco with an interest.
Ounas certainly looks a player on YouTube, and six goals in 28 appearances last term stands up to Martial’s 10 in 44 during his only full Ligue 1 season, although with eight of those coming in the last 15 matches of the 2014/15 campaign, the £36m-plus man was clearly picking up speed.
With the youngster contracted to Les Girondins until 2019, the Mirror only go as far as stating ‘The Old Trafford giants have made enquiries to Ounas’ representatives but it could take a big offer to tempt them to sell’, which begs the question of how much he’s worth.
In the wacky world of football transfers, the general consensus is that Martial is about right at £36m rising to £57m, but that’s only been accepted in hindsight after his scorching first Premier League season, with 17 goals in 49 games played mostly out wide in a struggling team.
Expecting the same impact from Ounas, who plays somewhat deeper in an attacking-midfield role, seems unrealistic considering few players his age feature regularly in the position for top clubs, whereas the rise of Martial and 18-year-old teammate Marcus Rashford suggests nine is now a young man’s number.
There must also be question marks about Ounas’ maturity after previous problems, including being kicked out of one club for a ‘youthful error’, although former Bordeaux boss Willy Sagnol described him as ‘blameless’ during his time at the Nouveau Stade.
Either way, United would be very lucky to snag the instant impact of Martial again, and based on the evidence Ounas is surely worth considerably less.