Elye Wahi celebrates a goal for Montpellier

Who is Elye Wahi? The Montpellier goal machine and Arsenal transfer target

With the summer transfer window now open for business, excitement is building as fans all around the world dream of new talent arriving at their clubs.

In the latest in a series of features, Jacque Talbot of FootballTransfers runs the rule over another exciting young talent who could be a hot property in the coming weeks.

It wouldn’t be fair to call the 2022/23 season a ‘breakout campaign' for Elye Wahi given he had already found the net 10 times in all competitions a year earlier.

What is not in doubt though is the brilliant 20-year-old’s rapid and continued progression to become one of the hottest young properties in European football.

The Frenchman found regular game time in Montpellier’s first team in the second half of the 2021/22 season. By the time the summer rolled around, Wahi had racked up as many non-penalty goals (10) as Paris Saint-Germain’s highly-touted Arnaud Kalimuendo.


That impressive season led to Wahi and Kalimuendo both being nominated for the Golden Boy award, alongside the likes of Real Madrid midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham and Barcelona’s Pedri.

Quite the accolade.

But while Kalimuendo has since had something of a slump, Wahi by comparison has thrived. In 2022-23 he found the net 19 times in 33 Ligue 1 appearances, a return which highlights the potential of a player who has the world literally at his feet.

Elye Wahi Transfer Value - how much is he worth?

We value the striker at an Expected Transfer Value (xTV) of €13.1million right now, and he is contracted with Montpellier through to 2025. If he does leave Ligue 1, that figure is likely to be comfortably eclipsed.

Reports have suggested that Newcastle and Arsenal are both looking at Wahi as they plan their summer signings, and that his current club has asked for some €40m to entertain a transfer negotiation.

Premier League sides are certainly well stocked financially, more than most sides across Europe, but they also have to contend with the fact that a lot of overseas clubs know that only too well, and will therefore inflate prices to their advantage.

Elye Wahi's xTV

Wahi spoke recently about his brilliant 2022-23 season, admitting he had worked hard on every facet of his game which needed improvement.

He told Paillade: “Personally, I think I have improved in all areas compared to last year. As I have often said, I became aware of things and it is reflected on the ground.

“I eat a little better, my mum does the cooking and I go to bed earlier too. That's what makes the difference. We're starting to talk about me, I'm going to make sure that we continue and that it's only for the positive. “

Wahi recognises that his reputation further afield is growing fast thanks to his superb form in France.

It is unlikely that any side will spend massively on him this summer window, but stranger things have happened. What is more likely though is that with another top season under his belt, Montpellier should be able to cash in to an even greater degree.

Which leads us on to the €40million question - does Wahi have the true potential to be a world beater? We crunched the numbers using our proprietary data models.

Elye Wahi stats and strengths

Elye typically behaves as a poacher, which means he is very involved in offensive actions within the penalty area, both receiving the ball and shooting.

His past experience of playing on both wings meanwhile can be seen in his dribbling. The Frenchman is very comfortable carrying the ball and taking on opponents. Further, an xA figure of 0.13 shows that he has more than one dimension and is not your typical No.9.

Comparing his playing style from last season shows that he moved away from being a shadow striker, which required him to operate outside the penalty box. That change produced terrific results.

The 20-year-old found the net at a rate of 0.69 per 90 minutes in Ligue 1 last season and like all high-quality strikers he outperformed his xG of 0.44 per 90 minutes.

Elye Wahi's 22/23 Ligue 1

Wahi has turned into a lethal finisher.

His 2.22 shots per 90 minutes is not very high but he manages to get 58% of those on target, putting him in the 99th percentile amongst strikers from Europe’s top five leagues. Even more impressive as he plays for a Montpellier side which is not known for being particularly offensive.

His shooting has been sensational, and this becomes clear when looking at his shooting goals added (SGA) - a metric which purely looks at a player’s finishing ability and leaves everything else aside.

Wahi added 0.24 goals per 90 minutes, making him arguably the best finisher in the top five European Leagues. He is, without question, a natural, clinical finisher.

Those priceless traits are obvious from watching Wahi’s performances for Montpellier over the past year and assessing the wide range of finishes he has showcased. He also appears ridiculously comfortable approaching the goal from all different angles and taking shots on.

Where Wahi’s future lies will depend a lot on next season, and whether he is able to replicate the form he showed in 2022-23.

If that question is answered in the affirmative, expect many of the Premier League big guns to be lining up for a seat at the Montpellier negotiating table.

Whatever the asking price.

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