Transfer Talk: France forward Kolo Muani flying at Frankfurt
The latest gifted footballer to fly off the French conveyer belt of talent is Randal Kolo Muani.
His first season in the Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt has been a huge success, with his silky style drawing comparisons to the great Thierry Henry.
The striker’s form has attracted the interest of many of Europe’s biggest clubs, including some Premier League giants.
Kolo Muani could feature in France’s Euro 2024 qualification match with the Netherlands tonight and ahead of this fixture, we examine what the future may hold for the 24-year-old.
Kolo Muani’s first season in Germany could hardly have gone any better. In 35 appearances across all competitions, he has scored 16 goals and assisted 14.
The forward joined Frankfurt on a free transfer from Nantes last summer, after scoring 12 goals in Ligue 1 in his final campaign at the club.
Originally a winger able to play on either flank, Kolo Muani has developed into a striker and all but two of his appearances for Frankfurt have come in that position.
Possessing a languid style that disguises a surprising turn of pace, the Henry comparisons are not an overstatement.
While rising to the levels of such a legendary footballer would be a tough task for any player, Kolo Muani’s rangy physique and ability to beat his man naturally evokes the former Arsenal star’s style of play.
World Cup chance
An injury to fellow Bundesliga forward Christopher Nkunku gave Kolo Muani a shock opportunity to represent France at the World Cup. He made the most of his chance.
Having already made two substitute appearances for his country in the Nations League back in September, his first start came in the World Cup group game against Tunisia.
Kolo Muani remained on the bench for the next two matches, before scoring after just 44 seconds of his introduction as a sub in the semi-final against Morocco.
He would be brought on once more in the final, where he again made a quick impact. Within two minutes of his late appearance, he had won a penalty which would be converted by Kylian Mbappe.
With Karim Benzema having retired from international football, Kolo Muani surely has a chance of becoming a regular in Didier Deschamps’ team. Veteran centre forward Olivier Giroud remains in the squad, but is now 36.
Something that tends to help players win more international recognition is a move to a top club. Kolo Muani was recently quizzed about his future, following his spectacular introduction to the Bundesliga.
He said: "We talk about it a lot already, but I try to be focused on my club. We continue our performances and we will see this summer. Afterwards, I always dreamed of playing in big clubs.
"I thought I was going to need some time to adapt, maybe a year. But everything exploded. Either way, I’m ready for any challenge.
"I ask the club to get me my statistics on my matches each time. I share this with my physical trainer to know what to improve.
"I do a lot of goals and assists, but it’s not at the level where I should be. I still miss quite a bit."
Kolo Muani has taken time to fulfil his potential but looks ready to take the next steps at both international and club level.
He has a chance to cement his future with France this week while Frankfurt are battling for Champions League qualification and remain involved in the DFB-Pokal.
Whatever he achieves with Die Adler this season, a summer transfer would seem inevitable, with the German outfit likely to land a huge profit on a player they signed for free.
The striker is said to be on Manchester United’s lists of targets, while Chelsea and Liverpool have also been linked. Bayern Munich lack a goalscorer and tend to pinch the Bundesliga’s top talents.
The future is bright for Kolo Muani. He may not quite hit the levels of Henry’s career but he is one of the most exciting talents around and seeming headed in only one direction.