“My future is clearly away from Seville,” Steven N’Zonzi has revealed. “The only thing that disappoints me is the way it has ended.”
And with that there will be numerous clubs queuing up to acquire his services. Having fallen out with Sevilla coach Eduardo Berizzo, it appears the 28-year-old midfielder is now available, and potentially at a cut price.
There will not be a shortage of suitors. Since his days at Blackburn under Sam Allardyce, N’Zonzi has established himself as an accomplished, composed midfielder, impressing in Andalusia and attracting the admiring glances of clubs elsewhere in Europe.
Here are seven potential destinations for the disillusioned Frenchman.
N’Zonzi has been repeatedly linked with a move to Arsenal in recent weeks, and it is no surprise.
A powerful, imposing presence in midfield, he would provide the steel that the Gunners have long required. He is far more than just a destructive, defensive player though. N’Zonzi is an excellent passer, able to control the tempo of games from deep and would likely fit in with ease at the Emirates.
With news that he is currently in London, it could be that Arsenal have acted quickly. A release clause of £35m is certainly affordable.
Everton, set for a potential revitalisation under the leadership of Sam Allardyce, have also been linked with N’Zonzi.
As previously mentioned, the Sevilla man played under Allardyce at Blackburn, and could perhaps be tempted by an approach from his former boss. Everton’s manager is a fan of N’Zonzi. He reportedly even looked into his eligibility to play for England while still in charge of the national team.
With that in mind, as well as Everton’s need for improvement, it could be that N’Zonzi is a prime target for the Toffees.
It seems inevitable that Roma will be interested in N’Zonzi. That’s because the Serie A club signed Monchi in the summer, the director of football mastermind who had been behind Sevilla’s most successful signings prior to his move to Italy.
Monchi will know N’Zonzi well; he will know of his qualities, of his impressive performances in the Andalusian capital over the last two years.
And that knowledge could be enough to prompt a reunion. It would be an interesting career move for N’Zonzi, and he could work well in Eusebio Di Francesco’s system.
Liverpool look set to lose Emre Can, and could soon be on the lookout for a midfielder of N’Zonzi’s ilk.
The Frenchman would slot in well to Jurgen Klopp’s high-tempo football, and would perhaps introduce a solidity at times lacking when Liverpool surge forward.
Whether the Reds will pursue N’Zonzi remains to be seen, although it would not be a surprise to see them amongst a group of Premier League clubs interested.
There were reports in the summer that N’Zonzi had agreed a deal to sign for Serie A champions Juventus, although that clearly did not materialise.
But their interest is unlikely to have entirely diminished. If Juventus are still on the lookout for a midfielder, it may be that N’Zonzi is the ideal man.
In a side capable of dominating opposition, he is often imperious. But he can do the other side of it, too. The Bianconeri often set up defensively in big games – as they did against Napoli last week – and N’Zonzi is as capable off the ball as he is on it.
“I love the Premier League,” N’Zonzi has said. “I really like the Premier League, this is where I started at a good level.”
If you’re wondering why there are so many Premier League clubs included in this list, that is partly the reason. N’Zonzi has an affinity with English football given his history, and English clubs appear to like him, too.
Leicester were rumoured to have been monitoring him in the summer, but they could face a difficult battle with some reputable clubs, if they attempt to reignite their interest.
N’Zonzi’s impressive form has come in La Liga, so it’s understandable that clubs in that division will have taken notice.
Barcelona were rumoured to have identified the former Blackburn and Stoke man as a potential backup option to Sergio Busquets last year, and it could be that they are still interested.
He would likely thrive in the role, although a mere backup might not appeal to a player with the ambition of N’Zonzi.