Breaking through last season at Caen, the same club Thomas Lemar made a name for himself in Ligue 1, Jean-Victor Makengo, in 28 league appearances over two seasons, made enough of a name for himself to earn a £5m+ transfer to Nice this summer.
Making a 16 minute cameo in the first game of their new Ligue 1 campaign, the 19-year-old will probably be slowly introduced to Lucien Favre’s side this season, yet his story could have been very different.
In an interview with Libération in France, the young midfielder hinted how he could easily have gone to a club like Manchester City, who were very interested in him when he was younger.
He said: “My parents received lots of phone calls from clubs who said they were interested in me. I didn’t want to know about it. I didn’t want speculation like “people are following you”…
“I received invitations to discover clubs (at which point Libération include ‘especially Manchester City’). You feel wanted, they show you infrastructures, projects… but I can’t say I was impressed”.
A product of the Caen academy, Makengo has the world at his feet, and who’s to say he might not end up at the Etihad one day?
After all, if they were following him back then, they’re probably still doing so to this day, and with a rise in status following his latest move, he might be put in the spotlight a bit more.
Then again, if he wasn’t impressed by the Citizens’ pitch the first time…