Wahbi Khazri: Profile of Sunderland-bound £9million Bordeaux forward

Wahbi Khazri

Wahbi Khazri

8
Have your say

Described as Bordeaux's 'offensive catalyst', Sunderland-bound Wahbi Khazri comes highly rated.

Bordeaux have confirmed that they have accepted a £9million offer from Sunderland and Khazri is now heading to the North East to finalise a four-and-a-half year deal with the Black Cats.

But what do we know about the attacking midfielder?

Name: Wahbi Khazri

Age: 24, born on the 8th of February 1991 in Ajaccio, France.

Position: Best as an attacking midfielder in the No 10 role, he can also play wide.

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce

Former clubs: Born in Corsica, as are most of Bastia’s youth products, Khazri started out training for Ajaccio-based side Jeunesse before moving to Bastia in 2003.

The Tunisian international eventually made his debut for the first team in 2009, his playing time and goals and assists rising, eventually firing Bastia into the top flight on the back of nine goals and seven assists from 33 appearances in 2011-12.

He made a total of 171 appearances, scoring 32 goals but the club was in dire financial straits and was forced to sell him to Bordeaux in the summer of 2014.

Khazri - who has been tracked by Aston Villa and Celta Vigo - has netted 14 goals in 48 appearances for Bordeaux since joining the French top flight side from Bastia 18 months ago.

International career:

In 2009, Khazri made his debut for the Tunisia national Under-20 football team, three years later he represented France Under-21s against Italy.

But in late 2012, Khazri switched his international allegiance once again, when he accepted a call-up from Sami Trabelsi, the Tunisian national team's coach, including him in the squad for the 2013 African Cup of Nations.

He has since made 13 appearances for the national side, scoring six goals.

What is his best position?

According to Get French Football, Khazri is a dead-ball specialist.

They add: "While generally an attacking midfielder, Khazri is an exceptionally versatile player, as he is able to play wide on either flank or even up top, his decent height (1.82m) and wiry strength allowing to handily battle opposing centre backs.

"Quick, if not remarkably so, he is at his best with the ball at his feet, able to not only take defenders on himself but also to shoot from distance, favouring his right foot but being adept enough with his left so that he does not really have a weak side."

There are question marks over his temperament and willingness to track back though, adding "Khazri has also generally demonstrated a marked lack of willingness to exert himself defensively."

But there is no questioning his technical ability and he looks to be a very welcome addition to Sam Allardyce's squad.

What does Wahbi Khazri say?

On his move to Sunderland: "It is a super challenge. I dreamt about England." (via @LawLeenhardt)

What do Bordeaux say?

A statement from the French club said: "The club have reached an agreement with Sunderland AFC for the transfer of Wahbi Khazri.

"The attacking midfielder has a beautiful opportunity with the English club.

"He is therefore authorised to head to England to negotiate with the Premier League club."

What do the experts say?

French football writer Robin Bairner tweeted: "Bordeaux confirm a deal in place to sell Wahbi Khazri to Sunderland.

"Really surprising move, imo. Good addition to #SAFC.

"He's been Bordeaux's offensive catalyst this season. When he's played well, so has the team.

"Best as a 10, but if SAFC are going to play three up front he can play wide comfortably."