Teenager Mohamed Ali-Cho left Everton’s academy in 2020 to join French outfit Angers and is now being linked with a £16.8million move to Premier League side Tottenham
Tottenham have been offered the chance to sign forward Mohamed Ali-Cho, according to reports.
The 18-year-old, who plays for French outfit Angers, is poised to become a household name over the next few years – with or without his big-money move to Spurs.
Ali-Cho, who has 18 months remaining on his existing deal, is valued up to €20million – around £16.8m.
The teenager has been regular for Angers this season – scoring twice in his 19 Ligue 1 appearances – and was the youngest player on the recent Golden Boy longlist.
Several top-flight clubs have been linked with him in recent months, including Southampton and Borussia Dortmund.
Here, Mirror Football takes a look at Ali-Cho’s blossoming career… and why Premier League fans should be excited.
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The one that got away
Although few in England will know who he is right now, he knows a lot about England.
Ali-Cho was born in France but spent his childhood moving between the country and London, where his parents worked.
After four years in Paris Saint-Germain’s academy, he joined Everton’s youth set up aged 11.
Over the next five years, he blossomed into the player he is today – earning two England U16 caps and an irresistible professional offer from Angers in 2020.
“When I played for PSG we always used to go on tour playing futsal, and when I went and signed for Everton, that’s where I started playing 11 a side football,” Ali-Cho told Ligue 1’s official website in December.
“So, that’s when I had to be ready physically. And the English game was different to the French game, so I had to adapt as well.
“It was a pretty good learning curve for me. I’m more of a complete player because I know different aspects of the game in different areas, so yes, it helps me adapt.”
Progress at Angers
While Everton may be ruing Ali-Cho’s departure, the move has worked out perfectly for the talent.
“I love playing football and to play so much since the beginning of the season is a real pleasure so yes I’m very happy,” he added.
On his progress, he continued: “During the summer I’d been working very, very hard to be ready for this season because it’s a really important season for me.
“It’s my first season playing as a starter, so I really have to work, gym, cardio, technical, tactical, everything.”
Ali-Cho has developed under the leadership of Angers manager Gerald Baticle, who’s given him a starring role after spending most of last season on the bench.
“He knows how I feel because he’s been a striker, he knows the game, he’s already played in my position,” said the youngster.
“He definitely knows the aspects where I can improve and he’s really hard on me, so he helps me improve as a player.”
Baticle added: “Momo and I speak regularly. We can talk about how he feels because I went through the same stuff in my career.
“He’s an intelligent young footballer, open-minded and cultured. He’s very receptive to advice and often asks for it.”
France’s newest star
Despite picking up two caps for England’s youth team, Ali-Cho has confirmed allegiance to France and even received five U21 caps last year.
The teenager is playing alongside some top players at international level, including Arsenal ace William Saliba and Manchester United target Boubacar Kamara.
With so much competition for places, it may be a while before he gets his hands on a senior international cap – but he’s happy just to be involved in the U21 set up.
“It’s a pretty good feeling, it’s always good to get called up for the national team,” said Ali-Cho. “There’s a lot of really good players over there, William Saliba, Eduardo Camavinga.
“Plenty of players that are playing for top clubs so it’s good to learn from them as well. I’m just happy there, hopefully I’ll play well.”
Premier League mentor
Guiding Ali-Cho to the top is former Southampton ace Sofiane Boufal, who won the Premier League Goal of the Season award in 2017-18 with a famous effort against West Brom.
Boufal picked up the ball from his own half, went past six players and slotted the ball beyond goalkeeper Ben Foster – a goal few at St Mary’s have forgotten.
Although the Morocco international never quite made the grade in England, his words of wisdom is helping Ali-Cho become a success in France.
“As soon as he came here he took me under his wing and he started teaching me loads of things,” said the teenager.
“He’s teaching me a few little tricks I might put out on the pitch sooner or later. He played for Southampton, Lille, he’s travelled a lot so he’s teaching me a lot of things and I’m grateful to have him on my team.”