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Chelsea target Atal not the reason behind Boudaoui's Nice switch

3:15 AM EDT 9/13/19
Hassan Kessy of Tanzania, Algeria's Hicham Boudaoui
The deadline day signing from Paradou AC was officially unveiled on Thursday, and is excited about the Eaglets’ project

Nice summer signing Hicham Boudaoui has revealed the club’s “project” was contributory to his decision to sign for the club, and not his relationship with Youcef Atal.

The Algeria midfielder, who was acquired by the French club on deadline day, has joined up with his new teammates after the international break.

Speaking at his unveiling on Thursday, the 19-year-old expatiated on his reason for joining Patrick Vieira’s side.

"Nice is a good club with a good project,” Boudaoui stated at his unveiling.

“Youcef’s presence here is a plus, and my conversation with him motivated me to join, but that wasn’t the main reason I signed to be part of this team.”

When asked why he opted for number 28, the teenager cited his relationship with former Paradou teammates, Sabri Cheraitia and Farid El Melali.

"It's because of my two friends, Farid El Melali & Sabri Cheraitia. We played together at Paradou, and today both wear it with their clubs (Nasr Athletic Hussein Dey and Angers respectively)."

Nice coach Vieira is enthusiastic about Boudaoui’s talent, and hopes the midfielder is given time to fulfil his obvious potential.

"Boudaoui is a young player who is full of talent. It will also be necessary to give him time to adapt,” Vieira specified.

“He is a player capable of bringing a lot of energy, covers a lot of ground, and possesses ample technical quality.

“He also has some aspects of his game that he must continue to develop. I hope we will put everything in place to help him develop. He has great potential, having him is a very good thing."

Boudaoui isn’t expected to make his debut this weekend owing to the limited training time he’s had since returning from international duty with the Algeria U-23 side.

Third-placed Nice, who have won three of their opening four games, travel to Montpellier on Saturday, seeking to continue their bright start to the campaign.