Olympique de Marseille has never been a smart student in transfer window periods. Since the arrival of Pablo Longoria, it is even worse. Since his arrival as sporting director in July 2020, OM has welcomed 31 new players, not counting the players who were on loan and whose purchase option has been exercised (especially Ünder, Lopez, Harit).
Many strokes for the Spanish sporting director have now passed to the top floor since he became president of the club after Jacques-Henri Eyraud’s sideline in February 2021. Some have been crowned with success like Mattéo Guendouzi or Pau Lopez, others have been crowned with success . disappointing like Luis Henrique, Gerson or Luis Suarez, recently.
OM, Arsenal’s lab?
But what we notice above all is that the president of OM has preferred interlocutors to negotiate transfers. Since joining, four players have arrived from Arsenal. Some released from their contract (Sead Kolasinac), others on loan (William Saliba, Nuno Tavares) and a last one who has become a pillar of Sampaoli and Tudor, whose purchase option has been exercised (Mattéo Guendouzi).
If we exclude the special situation of the Bosnians, all the others are part of a cooperation strategy. Young players who don’t have – or yet have – their place in Mikel Arteta’s first team and who want to gather playing time under the Marseille sun. It worked out well for William Saliba, a defender who became ultra-impressive and ultra-important for the Gunners.
That may also be the case for Nuno Tavares, who still needs to develop and learn, which he will not be able to do in London. OM is therefore positioned as a kind of satellite club for the English team. ” Arsenal have the means to make bets, which is not the case with OM. Pablo Longoria can therefore regain players that he could not buy at a lower price. Although we can’t really build on that, except in the case of Mattéo Guendouzi, who has been shelved by Arteta “, a close friend of the Marseille management confides to us.
Generational closeness with Thiago Pinto
But if we look more closely, it is not just Arsenal who is OM’s privileged partner in transfers. Since Pablo Longoria joined, three players have arrived from AS Roma. The first two were on loan and their purchase option was exercised (Pau Lopez, Cengiz Ünder) and the third was bought outright this summer (Jordan Veretout).
This connection is explained by the proximity between the managers of the two clubs. Thiago Pinto, appointed in January 2021, is 38 and is part of the new wave of European football managers, joined by Pablo Longoria (36) and Javier Ribalta (42). The new methods are theirs and here it is easier to discuss.
” Thiago Pinto, Pablo Longoria and Javier Ribalta are all young and see football the same way. This is partly why they often act together. They see things the same way, and so it’s easier to get along than with people from another time who are still in clubs. “, states the aforementioned source. It is mainly for these reasons that OM recruits many players from these teams and that there will undoubtedly be others in the future.