Norwich City confirm Pierre Lees-Melou signing
- Credit: Imago/PA Images
Norwich City have completed their fourth summer signing as midfielder Pierre Lees-Melou arrives from Nice.
The 28-year-old has joined the Canaries on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £5million and the transfer is subject to international clearance.
Lees-Melou was officially unveiled as a City player on Tuesday morning via the club's official channels.
An experienced campaigner in France, Lees-Melou played a pivotal role in helping Nice secure 9th place in Ligue 1 last season. The midfielder made 34 appearances, scoring on four occasions.
He played largely on the left of a midfield three containing ex-Manchester United player Morgan Schneiderlin and one time City target Alexis Claude Maurice. Lees-Melou is a box to box midfielder capable of combining solid defensive work with an attacking threat, especially from range.
Nice signed Lees-Melou in 2017 from Dijon and has made over 100 appearances for the Eaglets throughout his time on the south coast of France. He also has experience of European football, playing in the Champions League and Europa League.
It has been some rise for the midfielder, who began his career in non-league in France before signing for Dijon and working his way up the pyramid.
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He was also vice captain at Nice, wearing the armband in 16 of his 33 appearances in all competitions last season.
City have been monitoring the region for some time and see it as a country with real value due to the financial implications of both the coronavirus pandemic and a collapsed TV deal that has left many French football clubs on the brink.
Lees-Melou becomes their fourth senior addition of the summer. City have already added Angus Gunn, Billy Gilmour and Milot Rashica this summer as they step up preparations for their upcoming Premier League campaign.
Speaking about the deal, the French midfielder told City's official channels: “I’m very excited to join Norwich City and discover my new future with the club and its fans. I can’t wait to play football in Norwich colours.
“I spoke with Daniel [Farke] and Stuart [Webber]. We had a very long conversation about football and the vision for the team. I’ve heard a lot about how Norwich plays football in the right manner and style and also the club’s spirit and mentality. I love that and that got me very excited.
“I also spoke with Morgan Schneiderlin and Yoann Barbet about football in England. They spoke very highly of Norwich and the club’s position and standing.
“I appreciate the opportunity in this club and wanted to get the move sorted and start quickly. I’m excited to discover a new country, language and play in the biggest league in the world.”
Daniel Farke believes his latest addition will add plenty of competition in the midfield area after the departures of Alex Tettey, Mario Vrancic and Oliver Skipp and is delighted to get his man.
City's head coach believes the experienced midfielder will bring plenty of quality to his side: “We’re delighted to have been able to sign a player like Pierre. There are a lot of things to like about him and his football qualities.
“He’s a really good technical player and is very good with the ball. He also has the physical ability every game to cover lots of ground and can play many positions and roles.
“His CV, age and experience are very good. He has played for a big club in Nice, in pressure situations with some talented players. He has played a lot of football in recent years, so is in a good rhythm and full of confidence.
“In our communication we all got the feeling that he is desperate to come to Norwich. He’s an intelligent and humble guy and is greedy to work and improve on this level.”