'What a player' - Newcastle's £50m man on City's Lees-Melou
- Credit: PA
Norwich City's new signing, Pierre Lees-Melou, is top drawer, insists Newcastle and former OGC Nice team mate Allan Saint-Maximin.
The 24-year-old made the same leap to the Premier League in 2019, and his eye-catching displays in the north-east have seen him touted as a £50m summer transfer target for new Everton chief Rafa Benitez.
The duo spent two years at Nice, after joining the French club within a month of each other in 2017. Lees-Melou revealed he had consulted the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin and Yoann Barbet for the lowdown on the Canaries, and English football, after confirmation of his Carrow Road move.
That prompted Saint-Maximin to give his ex-team mate's City switch the seal of approval in a social media post to his 556,000 followers on instagram.
OGC competed in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League and later the Europa League as well as finished eighth in Ligue 1 in Lees-Melou's and Saint-Maximin's first season together.
The following season they finished seventh in the French top flight before the highly-rated Saint-Maximin left for Newcastle in a reported £16m move.
Lees-Melou is now poised to travel to England later this week and will link up with Daniel Farke's squad from next week, subject to complying with the relevant coronavirus protocols.
The 28-year-old posted his own farewell message on his instagram account.
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'It is time for me to say goodbye to you, I would like to thank the club for its trust and professionalism over the past four years.
'I also thank the technical and medical staff as well as my team mates. And a big thank you to the supporters even if the results did not always live up to their expectations, you were always there.
'I am leaving this club with my head held high, I have never cheated, always respected the jersey and above all I have always gave everything.
'We'll see each other for sure.'
OGC opted to cash in on Lees-Melou with new boss Christophe Galtier expected to revamp the squad. Galtier arrives at Nice after lifting the Ligue 1 title with Lille.
The French club released a statement confirming his departure on Tuesday, which read: 'OGC Nice would like to thank Pierre for the professionalism he has shown during his four seasons at the club and wishes him all the best in the Premier League.'