Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar had a dream night for France on the day he was the subject of what was understood to be a £92 million transfer deadline-day bid from Arsenal.
Here’s a look at how he performed in scoring twice for France in their 4-0 World Cup qualifying win over Holland in Paris on Thursday night.
Often tucked in on the left with Layvin Kurzawa overlapping, there were few opportunities to judge Lemar’s crossing ability against the Dutch.
But there were plenty of incisive short-range, first-time balls which indicated his comfort in possession at the top level.
Made some intelligent attacking runs, including one which was completely ignored by Paul Pogba five minutes before half-time when the Manchester United man opted to shoot rather than pick him out.
Showed great box-to-box ability after tracking back to cut out a Timothy Fosu-Mensah cross in the 65th minute before bursting forward and releasing Griezmann, but the Atletico Madrid man could not find a team-mate with his cross from the left.
He was also rewarded for continuing his forward burst when Griezmann laid on his second goal in the 88th minute.
He had one half-chance charged down in the first quarter of the game but otherwise his withdrawn role looked as though it would give him little opportunity for a shot on goal.
An opening appeared to present itself early in the second half when Griezmann worked the ball left to him on the edge of the box, but Lemar opted to come back inside and was crowded out.
But he demonstrated how deadly he can be with a sublime left-foot strike from the edge of the box after Stefan de Vrij’s headed clearance fell to him on the edge of the box, and was also a willing runner in the breakaway which led to his second and France’s third.
Don’t know what all the fuss over Thomas Lemar is about.
— Brendon Netto (@BrendonNetto) August 31, 2017
Lemar looked every inch a European superstar in the making – slight of build but with exceptional technique and tactical awareness.
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