During The Yorkshire Football Show this evening on Radio Yorkshire, where Joe Rawson stood in for regular host Mark Wilson, a certain hint was dropped about Leeds United out in France taking a look at a midfield player.
Rawson himself was asked by a listener to the show about the midfielder he brought up on his show, the question being put to him via Twitter. From the vague nature of what he said on the show itself, there was nothing really to go on other than the nationality of the player and the position he played.
However, Joe Rawson’s response added a little more detail to the narrative of the ‘mystery French target’, with Rawson saying that the player’s club in question was Lyon. With these three things to go on (nationality/position/club) the thread hinted that Leeds fans would hit Google and websites such as Transfermarkt to hunt down who it possibly could be. Still, the three pieces of information that fans had to go on wouldn’t even approach ‘circumstantial’ in a courtroom.
With fans fumbling around like a tired man reaching for a light switch in a darkened room, Phil Hay, responding to Twitter user @rossi_on, said that he had “made a few enquiries earlier today,” obviously in an effort to dig up some more substantial detail on the player in question’s identity. Then, @rossi_on put forward the following postulation on who it might be, throwing up a ‘sort of’ name.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 3, 2016
Later on in the conversation, Phil Hay corrects the spelling and out pops a name – Kemen, Olivier Kemen. On this, Hay says in a Tweet, “he’d be the obvious one in terms of someone who is potentially available.” Even with the name Olivier Kemen on the table Leeds United fans will still be scratching their heads and thinking ‘Who is Olivier Kemen when he’s at home?’ It must be stressed at this stage that nothing is certain and is all still up-in-the-air supposition, but if it is Kemen – who is he?
Who is Olivier Kemen?
Olivier Kemen is a 20-year-old Frenchman of Cameroonian descent, the central midfielder being born in Douala. He actually has experience of English football before with Newcastle United signing him as a youngster from the Metz Under-19 squad three years ago on July 4 2013. However, the move didn’t pan out as expected and Kemen moved back to France with Lyon at the end of August 2015 for a reported fee of £680,000.
Kemen is a current France Under-20 international and appeared in the final of the recent Toulon Tournament where France were beaten on home soil 2-1 by England. He has represented France 32 times from Under-16 to Under-20 age levels.
Club football-wise, he appeared twice last season for Lyon in their first team; a 15-minute substitute performance in a 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain and a full 90 in the final game of the season, a 4-1 loss to Reims. He also played once for Newcastle United’s U23 side in a 31 loss away at Wolves. In the 2014/15 season, he played 14 times for Newcastle’s U-23 team scoring two goals and providing two assists. Such were his displays that he earned himself a place on the bench for the Premier League games against Arsenal, Sunderland and Spurs.
All data derived from Olivier Kemen’s player profile page on Transfermarkt