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UPDATED: FC Metz sign Tunisian duo Fakhreddine Ben Youssef and Ferjani Sassi
Tunisian winger Fakhreddine Ben Youssef and midfielder Ferjani Sassi have both agreed to three and a half years with Lorraine club FC Metz.
FC Metz announced Monday afternoon that they have agreed to a €1.2 million deal that will send Tunisian forward Fakhreddine Ben Youssef from CS Sfaxien (Tunisia) to France for the next three and a half years.
Sfaxien midfielder Ferjani Sassi has also signed a three and a half year deal with FC Metz, with the announcement coming one day after the signing of Ben Youssef.
After spending the majority of their careers with CS Sfaxien, the transfer to the French professional league marks the first time that the Tunisian duo will play outside of their native Tunisia. During Ben Youssef’s time with CS Sfaxien, he has notched 36 goals in the past three seasons. In 2013, he was voted best Tunisian player.
— FC Metz Officiel (@FCMetz_officiel) January 5, 2015
Ben Youssef also plays for the Tunisian national team (17 caps and 4 goals) and will not be available for Metz manager Albert Cartier until after the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in early February.
During the AFCON qualifiers, the Tunisian forward played an important role in winning close matches for Tunisia, including scoring the game-winning goal against Egypt in Cairo that deflated the Pharaohs’ opportunity to qualify for the continental tournament.
Like Ben Youssef, Ferjani Sassi is also slated to appear for Tunisia in the 2015 African Cup of Nations and will not be available for Ligue 1 play until he returns from the tournament. In his four seasons with CS Saxien, the defensive midfielder has made 72 appearances and has notched 10 goals.
— FC Metz Officiel (@FCMetz_officiel) January 6, 2015
Sassi is the third signing for Les Grenats, who have also brought in Latvian midfielder Janis Ikaunieks. After the end of a rocky first half of the Ligue 1 season, Albert Cartier’s club sits tied for 17th on the table and is teetering one spot above relegation.
Ben Youssef will likely be tasked with bolstering Metz’s attack, which has only produced 17 goals in 19 games. An even greater task may be given to Sassi in strengthening his new club’s back-line, which has given up 27 goals entering the second half of the season.
Updated January 6th