28 year old French midfielder Pierre Lees-Melou became Norwich's fourth signing of the Summer 2021 transfer window when he joined from Nice on 13th July 2021 on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £5million
Lees-Melou played a pivotal role in helping Nice secure 9th place in Ligue 1 in 2020/21. The midfielder made 34 appearances, scoring on four occasions.
Originally from Langon, a town near Bordeaux in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south-west France, Lees-Melou played junior football for his hometown club. He started in men’s football with local club Union sportive de Lège-Cap-Ferret and was still playing in the fifth tier in his early 20s, before earning a move to Ligue 2 side Dijon in 2015. He made nine mostly brief appearances as a substitute during the first half of 2015-16 as his new club chased promotion to the top flight, also continuing to play in the fifth tier for the B team. His big chance arrived with seven games remaining and Dijon top of the table, playing 87 minutes of a 0-0 home draw with Nancy and then really making his impact – with two goals in two games. This secured promotion
The following year Lees-Melou scored seven goals in 32 top-flight matches to help steer Dijon to 16th place and safety. He moved to Nice in 2017 in a deal reportedly worth around £3million. His debut came in Champions League qualification, starting a 1-1 home draw with Ajax. He played for Nice in the Europa League in 2020/21 and was often captained the side. He had played 140 games for Nice, scoring 18 goals when he moved to Norwich.
City's head coach Daniel Farke believes the experienced midfielder will bring plenty of quality to his side: “We’re delighted to have been able to sign a player like Pierre. There are a lot of things to like about him and his football qualities. He’s a really good technical player and is very good with the ball. He also has the physical ability every game to cover lots of ground and can play many positions and roles. His CV, age and experience are very good. He has played for a big club in Nice, in pressure situations with some talented players. He has played a lot of football in recent years, so is in a good rhythm and full of confidence.In our communication we all got the feeling that he is desperate to come to Norwich. He’s an intelligent and humble guy and is greedy to work and improve on this level.”
Pierre made his Norwich debut on the opening day of the 2021/22 season in the home defeat to Liverpool. He scored his first goal for Norwich on 10th April 2022 in the 2-0 defeat of Burnley. He finished the season with 36 appearances as Norwich were relegated from the Premier League.
On 23rd July 2022 Norwich confirmed that Pierre had returned to France to join Stade Brest with the Canaries receiving the sum they had paid Nice.