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What have Le Havre, Fleetwood and MK Dons got in common?

28th April 2016
With all due respect to those three clubs, they aren’t recognised in the top echelon of Europe’s football elite. Sadly MK Dons are heading back to League 1, Fleetwood are hovering just above the relegation zone in League 1 and Le Havre FC is not even in the top division in France.

But just a few years ago, they had in their ranks three of this year’s most successful Premier League players.

The Jamie Vardy story is well documented and his rise from playing for Fleetwood, netting 31 goals in 36 games in the Conference led to a move in 2012 to Leicester City and probably a Premier League winners medal and England glory. Taking the runner up spot in the PFA Player of the Season vote is quite an incredible rise for this hungry goal scorer.

Dele Alli, or to give him his full name of Bamidele Jermaine Alli, still of course only 20 years old, began his career with MK Dons before moving to Spurs in 2015. His rise to win the PFA Young Player of the Season award is also a fairy story. Not many people would have expected him to be virtually an ever present for Spurs this season, let alone an almost certain starter for England in the upcoming Euros.

But perhaps the most amazing rise concerns the PFA Player of the Season, Riyad Mahrez born in France of Algerian/Moroccan parents. Before Mahrez graced the Premier League, he played for such French footballing giants as Sarcelles and Quimper before joining League 2 side Le Havre. His transfer fee from Le Havre to the Foxes was a mere £400k, probably rating that move as one of the greatest scouting achievements ever! His achievements for Leicester towards the end of last season and throughout the current campaign have been incredible and he has now notched 24 goals in 83 matches, with countless assists.

So, while the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and the Manchester clubs are constantly looking for players costing between £30 - £90million, surely a good scouting team is worth their weight in gold?
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