Thomas Lemar: humble, shy and set to be the subject of more mammoth bids

The Monaco and France midfielder has already turned down a €100m move to Arsenal but he cannot avoid attention from Premier League clubs much longer

By Adam White for Get French Football News, of the Guardian Sport Network

Thomas Lemar, a Caen player at the time, was making his way to a post-game reception with sponsors. “Well, it’s you who’s doing the talking,” said Lemar to his team-mate, Emmanuel Imorou, who had become accustomed to Lemar’s humble and reclusive personality. “He is a little introverted, even shy,” Imorou explained to France Football last year. “He’s a cool, simple guy who just does not feel comfortable with the media or the public.” Lenny Nangis, another former Caen colleague, agreed: “He does not like to put himself forward or talk about himself. He has always been like that.” Lemar has never sought attention but, with mammoth bids imminent – and a €100m move to Arsenal already turned down – he cannot avoid the attention for much longer.

Guadeloupe may not seem like a hotbed of football talent but Lilian Thuram and Jocelyn Angloma both grew up on the Caribbean island so the fact the island’s football technical director, Franck Louis, describes Lemar as “the best player that Guadeloupe has ever known” is no small compliment. “He did not like to lose, even when he was 10cm shorter than everyone else,” recalled Louis. “His competitive side was not expressed by ranting, but by hyperactivity on the pitch: anywhere the ball was, Thomas was there too. He absolutely wanted to have influence.”

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