Leeds United are reportedly keen on a move to sign RC Lens striker Loic Openda after his wonderful debut season with in France – and now, he has been nominated for the POTS award alongside Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.

Openda, 23, joined Lens last summer. It comes after starring on loan at Vitesse Arnhem for two years, scoring 37 goals in 88 games. Brugge, his parent club, decided to sell and Openda moved to France, with mid-table Lens.

Last season, Lens finished in a superb seventh. An over-achievement, it was seen. But this term, they have gone a level or two up – currently sitting in second place behind PSG with three games left. They are six points behind.

Openda, now a fully Belgium international, has been crucial to that. He has scored an impressive 19 goals in 39 games. All 19 goals have come in his 35 Ligue 1 matches. Foot Mercato say Leeds want him, but he’d cost £26.5m.

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Leeds keen on Loic Openda move: Nominated for Ligue 1 POTS award

Of course, any chance of Leeds tempting Openda would be survival and even then, it might be unlikely. That is, given Lens will be in next season’s Champions League. Either way, Openda is one of five players picked for POTS.

Hardly a surprise, given he has spearheaded a Lens side to run PSG close and achieve a place in the Champions League. Mbappe and Messi are nominated, as are Lille’s Jonathan David and Openda’s captain, Seko Fofana.

Alexandre Lacazette at Lyon will feel hard done by but given Lyon are seventh, four points off the European places. Openda is a fair shout to win the award, and it is a serious sign of how good he has been – out of Leeds’ reach.

Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images

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