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The Palace Fan

Malcom - Outgrown Bordeaux?

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Arguably the breakout player of the Ligue 1 season, in a global sense, the Brazilian began the season with a bang, finished it with a flourished and in between was a bizarre controversy which threatened to derail his campaign.

With Bordeaux having rejected Borussia Dortmund's advances last summer as they sought to replace Barcelona-bound Ousmane Dembele with the former Corinthians winger, Malcom was among the best individuals in the first months of 2017/18.

Scoring five goals in his opening nine games and dazzling on the right-hand side for Bordeaux with an Arjen Robben-esque knack for cutting inside onto his favoured left foot, Malcom's haul included a strike at the Parc des Princes against PSG. That was followed by a picture with Neymar on Instagram after the match which saw him heavily criticised across France for an apparent lack of competitive edge. He was embarrassingly even forced to apologise by Bordeaux.

The controversy affected him and his season dipped around Christmas and the New Year. But three strikes in his final three games sealed an impressive 12 goals in 36 appearances and he is very much a star in rising.

A star that looks to have outgrown Bordeaux - who were unable to trouble the Champions League places - and with Tottenham reportedly already in talks, the 21-year-old appears poised for the next step in his career. Malcom was fifth for open play key passes per 90 among attackers in Ligue 1 (1.78), eighth for expected assists (6.67) and 13th for successful take-ons (2.92), highlighting his role as a creative winger, independent of his goalscoring.

Given Bordeaux's front three of Alexandre Mendy, Gaetan Laborde and Francois Kamano managed just 16 goals between them, placing Malcom in a side with more potent strikers could have a profound effect. That's ignoring his goalscoring, which has been the most eye-catching aspect of his play. Malcom finished as his club's top scorer despite an inconsistent shooting accuracy of 44 per cent, just 2.35 scoring attempts per 90 (51st in Ligue 1) and with 3.1 touches in the opposition penalty area (78th).

At the right club, with better team-mates, it could be Malcom who could soon be fielding picture requests from his rivals.

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44% shooting accuracy doesn't sound bad at all, in fact it sounds excellent for a winger.

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