There's a new hotness in France, and his name is Paul-Georges Ntep. Granted, it seems like there's a new hotness in France every other week, but at least this week belongs to the young wing-forward who's lighting up the scoring charts for Stade Rennais. With 7 goals (tied for 3rd in the league) and 3 assists (tied for 10th), he's been one of the most productive players in Ligue 1 so far.
Paul-Georges Ntep de Madiba, 22, was born in Cameroon but has lived in France since age 8 and has been turning out regularly for France's youth international sides (9 goals in 15 U21 matches, for example) though he lacks a senior cap just yet. He transferred from Auxerre to Rennes in January and has quickly become a huge reason why the usually mid-table side is suddenly knocking on the door of European places. He's fairly tall, strong, quick, and tricky, none of which makes him unique in the modern game but does help him pass both the eye test and the stats test as someone who could make an impact at the top level.
The latest story goes that Chelsea (and a whole host of others including Arsenal, Manchester City, <fill in the blanks>, etc) had scouts in attendance as Ntep put in a man of the match performance in Rennes' 2-0 win over Monaco last weekend. "They were not disappointed," as Ntep provided the assist for the hosts' second goal. He also played well in the midweek round, scoring a header for the opening goal in Rennes' 2-1 win over Nice. No word on any hot and heavy scouting action from that game.
Of course, Chelsea have a vast scouting network, so presumably, on any given day, we actively observe quite a few players in person. That doesn't mean that we'll sign all of them at our earliest opportunity, but Ntep may be a name to keep in mind for when silly season comes around next, which is fairly soon. Until then, let's gawk over a YouTube video that shows only his strengths and none of his weaknesses.