By Dylan Lebecki
Knocking on the doors of greatness
Kévin Gameiro is a name which will be constantly heard for many years in French football. The highly talented player is currently 22-years-old and is the star in the FC Lorient formation.
His youth career started at Marly-la-Ville and then Chantilly, Kévin made his breakthrough when he was scouted by RC Strasbourg at the age of 13. He worked his way up through the RC Strasbourg youth ranks and after excelling with both the under-16’s and under-18’s. On the 10th of September 2005, he made his debut as a substitute against PSG. Gameiro soon became an essential piece to Jacky Duguépéroux’s side playing 58 matches and scoring 10 goals.
RC Strasbourg’s relegation from League 1 led to Gameiro’s departure and in 2008, he joined FC Lorient for 3 million euros. While playing for Lorient, Gameiro has shown that his transfer fee was not gone to waste. 61 games later, Gameiro who wears the number 9 jersey, became extremely important player for Lorient with 21 goals to his name. Last season, Gameiro led Lorient to a 10th Ligue 1 finish, their best record yet. Lorient currently sits comfortably at 10th place and Gameiro is leading the goalscoring charts alongside Niang, both having scored 15 times.
Naturally a striker, Kévin Gameiro can also play on the wings. He may lack height as he is 1.72m, but his biggest asset is his physical attributes, in particular his pace. With first-class technique Kévin Gameiro is also very proficient at both dribbling and finishing. He is a very determined player who works hard and always fights for the ball. His consistency has gained most of his recognition and is one of the reasons why he is such an important element in Lorient’s team.
Internationally, Kévin Gameiro has made appearances for the French under-18, under-20 and under-21 sides. In the 2007 Toulon Tournament he scored 5 goals in four matches and was named the player of the tournament, he led his team to victory with a hat trick in the final against China. Despite being eligible for Portugal and Queiroz issuing interest in him, Gameiro does not want to represent the country and opted to play for France. It will not be long before he makes his international debut, possibly in South Africa.
The striker has been heavily linked with a move within France; the top teams have all expressed interest in him. PSG were set to make a move for him in January, but Bordeuax and Marseille are also keeping a close eye on him. Recently, he has been linked with a move to Italian giants AC Milan amongst other Italian clubs, but Italy would not suit his style. Zidane has recommended Real Madrid to start tracking the highly talented youngster, but then again, who aren’t Real Madrid interested in?
Kévin Gameiro’s exploits have not gone unnoticed and it is highly likely that he will join a top team within a few seasons as well as becoming a regular for the French national team. His work ethics and pace as well as his versatility could benefit an aging French team who are struggling for form, especially in the attacking sector of the team. With Thierry Henry past his prime and Benzema unable to replicate the form that was produced before his transfer to Real Madird; Kévin Gameiro may be the perfect solution for Raymond Domenech. His creativity and consistency as well as his ability to shine in big games, would be extremely beneficial.
So what do you think of Kévin Gameiro? Should Raymond Domenech give him a surprise call up?