Matuidi could become a Gooner in January.
As we continue to explore the applications for the vacant post of defensive midfield in our team, our attention is drawn to a certain “fierce and strong tackler”.
Blaise Matuidi was one of the anchor men of France’s campaign at the World Cup in Brasil, featuring in all 5 of Les Blues’ games at the tournament. With Paul Pogba, Matuidi was at the hub of the French team’s impressive display which was cut short by eventual winners Germany. Though they could not go further than quarter-finals, certain players had impressed enough within the team to suggest that there was hope for a better outing in the Euros which they will host in 2 years time. Matuidi, was one of them.
A thorough-bred professionel, Matuidi’s talent had long been identified in the years of his early development as he was among a select few to be drafted to the highly esteemed Clairefontaine academy in France. This proper education which he gained from the four years spent there is one of the cardinal points of Arsene Wenger’s activism as it pertains to the right way to groom players. Despite a tempting offer from Lyon while he was only 14, Blaise wisely continued to follow his rise at a relaxed and progressive level. It was, therefore, no surprise that when the oil money started flowing in excess in Paris, Matuidi was always going to be captured. However, despite several good performances, the Galactico policy which has also been adopted by the club has seen his chances limited in comparison to his potential. Though on a recently signed contract that should keep him at the club till 2018, a number of factors stand in favour of a move away from Paris for the hardworking midfielder, for which reasons also, Arsenal should be a perfect fit for him.
At 27, he is hardly a young player anymore and with a continuous stream of players been constantly raved about as the next big thing, Matuidi will know that he requires an regular uninterrupted run of games to keep him in top shape for contention when Didier Deschamps commences the assemblage of his squad for the 2016 event. The problem of not playing qualifiers means that players who are already in the mood of competition by playing regularly at their clubs will get the nod to play in the preparatory friendlies while benchwarmers will be deemed not hot enough for the challenges. Besides, the Ligue 1 is not the most competitive league in Europe and if he (and France) are to see off the affront of Europe’s best, he should be interested in testing himself against the very best.
With his influence and track record for bringing through great French players, Arsene Wenger should see in Matuidi a capable and experienced head to bring a great deal of refuge for the Arsenal midfield which has sometimes appeared to be a touch away from collapse. He is tough and tensile, with all-action exhibition a peculiar feature in his game. Ogenyi Onazi felt the accidental impact of how much steel the Toulouse-born man is made of, though he later apologized for the challenge which led to the end of the Nigerian’s involvement in that quarter-final game. Arsenal could do with some steel in the middle – someone to break up play and give the defenders a bit more assurance and shield.
Just three days before Matuidi’s birth, Charlie Nicholas scored twice as we beat Liverpool 2 – 1, to win the Littlewoods Cup. I’ve not heard anything about Liverpool being interested, and though Charlie still spends most of his time on football with Skysports as a pundit rather than in independence debates, he would surely vote a “Yes Matuidi” to Arsenal.
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