Ligue 1 – How Marseille and Pablo Longoria reoriented the transfer window with the arrival of Igor Tudor

Ligue 1 – How Marseille and Pablo Longoria reoriented the transfer window with the arrival of Igor Tudor


In recent days, many have taken the time to compare the departure of Jorge Sampaoli to that of Marcelo Bielsa. There were indeed some similarities, in substance and form, in the way the two former OM coaches chose to slam the door. But also a major difference: the timing. The hulledcontrary toThe foolat least gave his leadership time to turn around.

Pablo Longoria immediately replaced him with Igor Tudor. Despite the availability of more attractive coaches on paper (Marcelino, De Zerbi), the Spanish leader did not hesitate for a second: he indeed had many reasons to opt for the Croatian coach. What he saw of Hellas Verona pleased him. What he heard from the former Juventus defender, too. “I was very pleasantly surprised by his wordshe said Tuesday during the first press conference of his new coach. We talked about the club’s project and structure. According to him, there is the club, the leaders, the coach, the players. I liked it a lot.”

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In detailing the nature of the exchange, the Olympian president mimed floors with his right hand, as if to accentuate the hierarchy between the different parts that make up the club. “As far as the transfer window is concerned, it is the leaders who take care of it“, abounded the Croatian. With Tudor, Longoria spares himself the dead end discussions he had had with Sampaoli who, before recording his departure, had called for the completely utopian arrivals of Antoine Griezmann and Renato Sanches. This Which does not mean that he alone will decide on the construction of the squad, nor does it mean that OM are starting from scratch.

Values ​​and profiles have changed

In the mode of operation, Tudor will retain certain principles imported by Sampaoli, starting with the neutrality of the statutes. This is why some names of attackers capable of offering competition to Milik have leaked. This is also the reason why Steve Mandanda is preparing to look elsewhere. On the depth of the workforce, the issues remain the same, since the 44-year-old technician should also be satisfied with a tight group, “15 or 16 players“.

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The real changes will therefore rather concern the profiles sought. And force the president of OM to leave aside several avenues that have been under study for several months. “A good leader must have good adaptabilityhe recalled on Tuesday. Adaptation to the city, the club, the supporters but also to the coach and his style. You always have to meet the expectations of the coach because he is the one who will make the players play and try to get the best out of them..”

From possession football, Marseille could move towards a more intense and vertical game. The priority recruitment criteria are therefore no longer the same. Especially since the tactical plan will also evolve, even if Tudor does not make an obsession of it. “The ambition is always to give the coach a workforce adaptable to his style of play, with individual profiles adaptable to the collectivedetailed Longoria. We know the values ​​that we must add to our group. It changes the planning we had done with Sampaoli. But we adapted, we already have ideas.”

italian accent

Thus, the one who was a candidate for the replacement of Boubacar Kamara last week may no longer be today. “Kamara was a true 6 who could slip into central defenserecalled the Spaniard. With Igor, the two midfielders have different characteristics: more mobility, pressing, sense of position.” A little less than two months from the closing of the transfer window, Marseille is not yet in a hurry. Especially since this market has remained relatively calm if we exclude the English bubble.

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Longoria does not want to rush, even if her mission promises to be particularly difficult. The financial means are limited and the first objective remains to increase the sporting ambition of the club. “We don’t just want to replacehe hammered. We also want to improve. This is a situation that should lead to the change of five to eight players in the workforce.”

The Marseille board is thus working on the sale of unwanted income from inconclusive loans (Radonjic, Amavi, Strootman) and the departure of other unconvincing elements, such as Luis Henrique. Longoria’s Italian networks, as well as his new sporting director Javier Ribalta, should help. The journalist specializing in the transfer window Fabrizio Romano mentioned, for example, negotiations around Kevin Strootman with … Hellas Verona, which Igor Tudor left a few weeks ago. The potential reinforcements mentioned in recent days (Simeone, Mertens) show that the agreement could work in both directions.

Igor Tudor during his presentation in Marseille, July 5, 2022

Credit: Getty Images

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