New Borussia Mönchengladbach attacker Alassane Plea plans to hit the ground running with the Foals following his summer transfer from Nice and is looking to former Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for inspiration.
Plea, like Arsenal man Aubameyang, has made the journey from winger to striker as his career has progressed, and plundered a career-best 20 goals in all competitions for Nice last season, with the French south coast club missing out on European qualification by just a single point.
Unlike Aubameyang, Plea was a France youth international in the same age group as Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane. While that duo won the FIFA World Cup this summer, Plea has not linked up with Les Bleus since 2014. Now 25, he is confident the move to Gladbach can take him to the next level.
"The Bundesliga's a championship that I've liked for some time," Plea told French sports daily L'Equipe. "I've followed it a lot on TV. I've seen attackers like Aubameyang or [Anthony] Modeste have a great time there. I've liked what I've seen. The stadiums are full every weekend. That's what made me want to go there."
With former Nice coach Lucien Favre moving to Dortmund this summer, there were a few eyebrows raised as to which Borussia Plea has ended up at. For the player, though, there was never any doubt that his future lay at the Borussia-Park.
"[Borussia Mönchengladbach] and I had a meeting in February," Plea explained. "They came to Nice, they explained their project. Their vision really excited me. They showed me their analysis, their stats. They'd seen many, many games of mine since I was 18! I really liked that. They thought I was the perfect player to complete their attack because they lacked a profile like mine."
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Fast with and without the ball, and equally adept either side of the attack or as the focal point of it. If Plea does indeed hit the ground running, expect to see the Foals galloping rather than cantering towards the upper echelons of the Bundesliga table next term.