After 280 matches spent under the Olympic colors, between 2013 and 2021, with an interlude in Newcastle, Florian Thauvin will leave Olympique de Marseille in a few days. At the end of his contract at OM, the 28-year-old world champion chose exile in Mexico. He is committed to the Monterrey Tigers, a franchise made famous in France by the prowess of André-Pierre Gignac. This afternoon, two days before a decisive match for the Europa League, Jorge Sampaoli was present at a press conference. Moment chosen by the Argentine technician to discuss the departure of the French striker … and his future successor.
“From my point of view, he was a very important player for the future of our project. We wanted him to stay with us, but we couldn’t do much to prevent his departure. Undoubtedly, he rocked the fans here. We’re going to have to think about who we’re going to replace him with. Football is going very fast today. These are daily changes, in a performance society, where you need everything, right away. We have to anticipate that. We did not expect this situation, we are trying to work to make up for this departure ”, explained Sampaoli, before discussing the profile targeted to replace Thauvin.
A Thauvin bis, yes but not only
“It’s a good question. Because Thauvin has an attacking profile, a winger who is left-handed but evolves on the right side. Whereas I was more used to having wingers playing on the side of their strong foot in teams that I have coached before. I had to adapt to him a little bit. For his replacement, it will depend on the profile the system needs. But yes, we will need a player who has the same characteristics as Thauvin, who can play one-on-one on the sides, who is skillful in front of the goal, to score the goals that Thauvin used to score. And we need a player who has the collective profile that the system requires ”, he blurted out.
Before concluding, Jorge Sampaoli added an important detail. The future Thauvin will have to integrate perfectly into his tactical system. Who next season should not be the 3-5-2 observed at the Vélodrome since the arrival of the Argentinian. “We’re using 3-5-2 right now because we think that’s what best suits the footballing qualities we have. But we can change the system. With my old teams, we often played 4-3-3. Attacking with two or three is the project I like the most. Fix on the sides thanks to the wingers or the lateral ones, to have a lot of system changes. What will not change, and this is what the president evoked for the profile sought, is the courage you need to have to play in wide open spaces, to spend a lot of time in the opposing camp. Favor the game in the great outdoors over dribbling. For this profile, the most important thing is that he must clearly know how we are going to play if he joins the club. “ The hunting season is open.