Described by his youth coach Eric Assadourian as a “mature player” who has “great potential”, Kondogbia operates predominantly in a defensive midfield role but is also capable of filling in as a central defender or left back. Being a player notorious for his energy and stamina, it seems that Kondogbia could act as back-up for Cheik Tiote, especially with the Ivorian being linked with a move to Chelsea. He could also add some much needed depth to the defence, with the recent injuries to Stephen Taylor and Coloccini proving that the back four could do with some reinforcements, especially if we could be competing in Europe next year.
The fans would have every right to be excited if a deal for Kondogbia was forthcoming. Despite having limited opportunities last season whilst Lens were in the top division, he made his debut on 21 November 2010 in a 3-1 loss to Lyon at the age of 17, making it clear how highly the club rate the central midfielder. He has since benefited from their relegation to Ligue 2, making 29 appearances in all competitions and becoming a pivotal part of Lens’ push for survival from relegation. Kondogbia is even recognised on a national scale, appearing for France in all youth teams from U16 to U19.
However, Kondogbia is still at a very tender age and so must be playing games in order to develop sufficiently. I doubt that he would be a first team player at this stage, and so signing him could jeopardise his development. The best option would therefore be to loan him back to Lens once we’ve signed him, especially as it’s the club he feels most comfortable at having played there since the age of 11.
Current Ability: 1.5/5
Likelihood of signing: 4/5
Transfer Value: £2 million