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Things at Marseille have gone from bad to worse. The club has lost the core of players that helped the club mount a title challenge for large parts of last season. And now, things have gone further downhill as Marcelo Bielsa suddenly and surprisingly decided to leave the club.
The losses of Dimitri Payet, Andre Ayew, Gianelli Imbula and Andre-Pierre Gignac all at once is not something any club can deal with, but Marseille do have players that could eventually fill their void. Abdelaziz Barrada would be the replacement for Payet and would hope to make a big mark in his second season at the club.
Florian Thauvin’s talent is absolutely undeniable but he would have to work considerably and make the left flank his own. Michy Batshuayi showed his capabilities last season, albeit in flashes, and will look to carry on from there and ensure Gignac’s void is not felt.
The likes of Mendy, Thauvin, Lemina and Michy are absolutely incredibly talented but the side needs more experienced men to provide a vital leadership role. With N’Koulou also seeking to move away from Velodrome, the need for this is even greater.
Therefore, the arrival of Jonathan de Guzmán could prove to be very important. A fee is believed to have been agreed between Napoli and Marseille. Bielsa in fact called Rafael Benitez on Saturday to ask for the Real Madrid manager’s opinion on the player, just hours before announcing his resignation, according to RMC.
Born in Canada to a Filipino father and a Jamaican mother, de Guzman started his career at Feyenoord as he slowly made his way up the ranks. His older brother Julien was in fact in the youth ranks of Marseille at a time. Jonathan was not given permission to play for Feyenoord’s first team before he was 18 years old. So just three days after turning 18, De Guzmán was part of Feyenoord’s first team squad for the first time.
After making over 100 appearances for the Dutch side, the player joined Mallorca on a free transfer in 2010. After just one season with the club, he switched to Villarreal. De Guzmán couldn’t feature regularly for the side after José Francisco Molina was hired in early 2012. In July 2012, he joined Swansea City on a year-long loan where he reunited with manager Michael Laudrup.
After a successful first season with the Swans, he extended his loan to another year. The player enjoyed a successful stint in the Premier League with the Welsh outfit. Last year, he completed a move to Napoli where he made 23 league appearances.
Jonathan de Guzman is a very good footballer who unfortunately couldn’t stay at one club for long after Feyenoord. At Swansea, he perhaps enjoyed his most consistent football and would hope Marseille turns out to a similar situation.
De Guzman is an attacking midfielder who likes to play in the middle. He can direct the operation, and support the attack. He’s a great passer of the ball, is considered a ‘set-piece expert’ and basically a creative player who can control proceedings from the centre of the pitch.
Marseille are young, dynamic side with immense potential. De Guzman can add another dimension to the side. He would prove to be an astute addition for the French side that desperately need quality.
He is 27 so he still has plenty of top level football left in him. He comes with a lot of experience and would definitely help the younger players.
Written by Aakriti Mehrotra
Follow Aakriti on Twitter @Aakriti1
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