At just 20 years old, HSC Montpellier’s Elye Wahi is already one of the most sought-after strikers in Ligue 1. The youngster is said to be on the wish lists of some top international clubs, including Borussia Dortmund. We present the shooting star, who even surpasses the great Thierry Henry in one statistic.
The French shooting star is said to be loud Telefoot be a hot topic at BVB, but in addition to the black and yellow, with Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, some top clubs from the Premier League are said to have put out feelers for the striker, who can be used variably in attack.
Elye Wahi: In the footsteps of Mbappé and Dembélé
The fact that France’s U21 international is on the list of major European clubs is anything but a coincidence. In his first full season as a professional with Montpellier, the youngster has already scored ten goals, joining Kylian Mbappé and Ousmane Dembélé as the youngest player in Ligue 1 history to break that mark. Wahi even surpasses the likes of Thierry Henry and Karim Benzema.
Wahi has already attracted attention with good performances in the current season and has already contributed ten goals in 21 appearances for the traditional club from southern France. Born in the small town of Courcouronnes in northern France, he began his career at JS Suresnes, where N’Golo Kanté first laced his football boots.
In SM Caen’s U15s he scored 89 goals in one season, proving his exceptional talent early on. So the now 20-year-old has been scoring goals since he was a child, but what else is there to know about the talented right-footer?
Elye Wahi: His sporting career
Before his seventh birthday, Wahi joined JS Suresnes and stood out early on with his superb technique and scoring prowess. The former president of Suresnes, Pierre Ville, recalls speaking to SPOX and GOAL recalls a special goal by Wahi: “During a tournament with us in Suresnes, I saw him score a volley where the ball fell vertically. Like Zidane in the European Cup final. Only he was only eleven years old at the time. “
Wahi thrived on the pitch and attracted attention with his goal threat, but off the field he was less determined. Ville remembers him as a boy who didn’t particularly enjoy going to school: “It’s not a question of intelligence, but school was rather hard work. He was always with his ball and football kept him busy.”
Wahi joined SM Caen’s youth academy in 2016 at the age of 13, but just two years later he left the club for reasons off the pitch. Even then there was interest from England in the young Frenchman, but he ended up at Montpellier, where he had a sponsor in the director of the training center, Francis de Taddeo, whom he already knew from their time together in Caen. Taddeo was ultimately responsible for Wahi joining Montpellier and not following the island’s calls.
Staying in his familiar surroundings in France should pay off for the boy with Ivory Coast roots. Wahi made his debut at Montpellier in December 2020 at the age of 17 when he made his Ligue 1 debut in Montpellier’s home game against FC Metz. In the meantime, Wahi has established itself as an integral part of the team currently in fourteenth place in Ligue 1. Since the U16, he has also gone through all the youth teams of the French national teams. He is mainly used as a centre-forward, but in the past he has been used on both flanks at Montpellier due to his speed.
Elye Wahi: What are his strengths and weaknesses?
In addition to his robust physique and a height of 1.84 meters, Wahi has enormous dribbling strength and mobility, which means that he can be used not only centrally on the offensive, but also on the wings. Even if he is mostly used in the center of the attack, he likes to leave his position and repeatedly gets the balls from the depths and then also dribbles on the outside and looks for one-on-one situations.
Due to his agility and his approach, the Frenchman can often only be stopped by fouls from his opponents, although it is to be blamed that he sometimes missed the right time to play the ball before he can even be stopped by a foul. In general, in some situations he still lacks the eye for his better positioned teammates and he mainly looks for the end himself instead of putting his teammates in the limelight.
At the same time, his finish-oriented disposition can also be seen as a strength, as he has a good instinct as a finisher in front of goal and can find the goal from a wide variety of positions. Wahi has a good instinct for creating dangerous situations for the opposing team, even if his decisions sometimes leave too much behind, which is completely normal for a young player.
Wahi is very present on offense, demands a lot of balls and actively seeks out dribbling situations. He often attracts several players and thus creates space for his teammates. If he can make even more out of these situations and tries to find and stage his teammates more often, he can become a true all-purpose weapon on offense.
Elye Wahi: How could he help BVB?
For BVB, Wahi should be of particular interest because of his versatility on the offensive. In Sébastien Haller, Dortmund already have a target player in the centre, but since the Frenchman can also play on both wings, Edin Terzic would have the option of using him in several different positions. Wahi would also be well suited in a system with a double lead, since he could play around Haller and, in contrast to Haller, has a stronger playing component.
Due to the contract extension with Youssoufa Moukoko, the second position in the attack is already taken, but Wahi could also bring valuable impetus from the bench. In addition, Moukoko and Haller have been out more often in the past and another striker would do BVB good.
With a strong team like Dortmund, Wahi could probably develop even better and would not have to carry large parts of the offensive alone on his shoulders, as was the case with Montpellier. BVB already has two creative offensive players in Karim Adeyemi and Julian Brandt, and Wahi would also bring another component into BVB’s game in this area and open up new tactical opportunities.
His contract with Montpellier runs until 2025 and the interest from England in particular could become an obstacle for BVB from a financial point of view when trying to win his signature. On the other hand, in the past, BVB has proven to be the ideal environment for big talents like Ousmane Dembélé, Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho or Jude Bellingham to exploit their talent. And Elye Wahi has this predisposition to be the next super talent that matures into a star at BVB.
Elye Wahi: profile
Place of birth
France, Ivory Coast
JS Suresnes, SM Caen, FC Montfermei, Montpellier HSC