Nantes' Argentinian forward Emiliano Sala celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Nantes (FC) and Guingamp (EAG), on November 4, 2018, at the La Beaujoire stadium in Nantes, western France. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Ligue 1: 7 Hidden Gems Who Relegation Threatened Premier League Sides Should Target in January

It would be fair to say that Ligue 1 has pretty much become a one-club league of late, with mega-spending Paris Saint-Germain currently sitting 14 points clear atop the table.


However, a host of relatively low-profile players have thrived this year, making the sub-PSG section of the table highly competitive.


With the focus often - quite fairly - placed on La Liga, Serie A, the Premier League and the Bundesliga, Ligue 1's top players can often go overlooked. This lack of coverage can present a fine opportunity to the lesser sides in the English top tier, in that talented players are often available for better value than in the more elite competitions.


The January transfer window offers an ideal opportunity for sides to strengthen, and a host of Premier League strugglers could all do with bolstering their ranks. Here's seven Ligue 1 hidden gems who they could look to target in January...

7. Emiliano Sala - Nantes

Who's currently top of the Ligue 1 scoring chart you ask? Neymar, surely? Nope. It's Nante's Emiliano Sala.


Cardiff City, Crystal Palace and Fulham have all been linked with the Argentine ace recently, who has scored an impressive 15 goals in 18 matches for Les Canaris so far this season. A product of the Bordeaux youth academy, the 28-year-old has spent his whole career in France, and could well look for a new challenge come the January transfer window.


Given Newcastle United's distinct lack of a star striker, he could certainly be worth a punt from the Magpies.

6. Benjamin Andre - Rennes

Previously reported to be a target of Liverpool, Rennes' Benjamin Andre would be an excellent regular starter for a number of struggling Premier League side's - as opposed to simply making up the numbers with the Reds.


Les Rouges et Noirs' captain is a feisty holding midfielder, and looks more than up to the challenge of competing in the notoriously physical Premier League.


The 28-year-old is renowned for his strength in the air, and could add some real solidity to the midfield of Southampton or Huddersfield Town.

5. Ismaïla Sarr - Rennes

While Premier League elite side Arsenal are rumoured to be keen on Rennes sensation Ismaïla Sar, they're yet to make a move, and a lesser English side could offer him the bridge needed to break into the Premier League.


The 20-year-old already has twenty international caps for Senegal, and appeared at the 2018 World Cup with the Lions of Teranga.


Southampton made Sadio Mané a Premier League star, and could look to do the same again with his compatriot. Alternatively, he'd go down an absolute storm at St James' Park.

4. Edouard Mendy - Reims

Senegalese players really are lighting up Ligue 1 at the moment, and Reims' star goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has been on fire this season.


The 26-year-old has only recently broken into the national team, but looks to have an excellent future ahead of him having helped his side achieve one of the best defensive records in the league this season (the less said about their goal scoring the better, however).


The towering 6ft 6in. stopper could give Huddersfield Town a far better option than Jonas Lössl between the sticks, and is unlikely to cost a fortune.

3. Téji Savanier - Nîmes

Nîmes have been a real surprise package in Ligue 1 so far this season, bouncing up from Ligue 2 and propelling themselves to 8th in the table after winning their last three league matches on the trot.


Creative midfielder Téji Savanier has been pivotal to their fine form, making the step up to the French top tier with ease - tearing apart opposition defences with his now trademark through-balls.


Burnley, for example, are crying out for a midfield orchestrator like Savanier, and could find an excellent bargain in the set-piece magician.

2. Frédéric Guilbert - Caen

Versatility is everything in modern day football, and Caen defender Frédéric Guilbert is capable of playing across all areas of the backline.


While not the tallest of defenders at 5ft 10in., the former France under-21 international makes up for his relative lack of height with a dogged determination.


Guilbert has claimed two Man of the Match awards this season, and his relentless stamina could breathe new life into the struggling defences of Burnley, Cardiff City or Fulham.

1. Kenny Lala - Strasbourg

Huddersfield Town's summer signing Florent Hadergjonaj has proved a real weak link for the club on the right side of defence this season, and Strasbourg's Kenny Lala could offer a quality replacement.


A skilled wing-back, Lala has starred for Thierry Laurey's side far this season, and could bring his dynamic play and crossing precision to the Premier League.


If the Terriers take a gamble on the 27-year-old, they could see the John Smith's Stadium transformed into 'Lala Land' before their very eyes...