TRANSFER LATEST: Fiery Frenchman Bilel Mohsni on trial at Ipswich Town
FIERY Frenchman Bilel Mohsni is on trial at Ipswich Town this week, with manager Paul Jewell set to decide whether to take the controversial player on loan from Southend United with view to a permanent move come January.
The 25-year-old enjoys cult status at his League Two employers due to his on and off-field actions. Able to play centre-back or up-front, the 6ft 3in player – who was plucked from the park pitches of Paris – has undoubtedly looked more than capable of playing well above English football’s fourth tier.
However, his hot-headedness on the pitch has seen him described as a ‘walking foul’ by Shrimpers boss Paul Sturrock. Three red cards, countless bookings and over 100 fouls in his two seasons at Roots Hall is just the tip of the iceberg too.
Off-the-pitch, he has reportedly been involved in angry exchanges between team-mates. One infamous incident saw him take the train home from Oldham after he picked up two bookings in the first 38 minutes of an FA Cup second-round replay.
Southend took up their option of handing him an extra year on his contract this summer, but immediately looked to cash in on a transfer fee.
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A successful trial spell at West Ham, which saw him travel with the Premier League squad for their pre-season tour of Germany, resulted in manager Sam Allardyce offering a reported �150,000 for his signature. However, that bid was turned down.
With Southend having got their season underway and Mohsni remaining in Paris, the Shrimpers may now lower their valuation.
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And Jewell – keen to add some physical presence and footballing fight to a side which continues to display a worrying penchant for folding under pressure – may decide that Mohsni is a risk worth taking.
The Blues boss saw the player in action first hand himself in a pre-season friendly at Roots Hall last summer in which he played one half in defence, another up front and was eventually substituted at the referee’s advice following a number of altercations with Ipswich players.