So, the transfer season has been set rolling and Chelsea is already linked with some of the stalwarts of the game like Radamel Falcao, Raphael Varane and Koke to name a few.
However, one seemingly underrated player who is linked with Chelsea is the French midfielder Giannelli Imbula. Imbula is currently plying his trade with French side Olympique de Marseille. Imbula has been on Chelsea’s radar for quite some time and as a matter of fact Marseille have reportedly demanded a fee of 20 million euros for Imbula’s services.
Giannelli Imbula fact file:
Giannelli Imbula (born as Gilbert Imbula on 12 September 1992) is a French footballer who plays as a midfielder for Olympique de Marseille. He also holds the citizenship of the Democratic of Congo Republic. He made his professional debut in Ligue 2 on 16 October 2009 for Guingamp in a game against Dijon becoming the youngest player in Ligue 2 history at 17 years of age. In May 2013, he was voted best player of Ligue 2, and he joined Olympique de Marseille from Guingamp on the 19 July of the same year for a projected fee of around 8 million euros. Son of Congolese parents, Imbula was born in Belgium but grew up in France, making him eligible for any of these three countries. In 2013, he received a call-up from France U21 to compete in the Toulon tournament.
Style of Play, Strengths and Weaknesses:
Imbula is predominantly a defensive midfielder and can also play as a central midfielder. His style of play is quite similar to Nemanja Matic. Imbula has a strong presence in the game and is tall with a huge physique and he stands around 6’1”. He possesses very good pace, is comfortable on the ball with decent dribbling skills and the ability to go forward. Imbula also performs his defensive duties well and provides the defense line with a bit of cushioning as he occupies the role of a ‘Destroyer’. There is no doubt that he can do well in attacks and he has a sweet finish too. However, the Marseille man doesn’t like to stray away from his primary duties and shows tremendous concentration on the field. He likes to control the midfield and at 22 years of age, has good leadership as well as organizational skills that add to his talent and help him be the midfield general the team needs him to be. The 22-year-old also has linked very well with his midfield partner Alaixys Romao and has been the feeder to the attack line in the likes of Ayew, Thauvin and Payet. He has an admirable pass success percentage of 89.1% which signifies his distribution skills and shows how well he controls the game. Imbula also dribbles well, which adds to his game.
The Frenchman is particularly aggressive and strong in his tackles- a feature of his game that stands out. He has won 64% of his average duels, highest in the outfield players to have played more than 4 games. He has created 11 goal- scoring chances (only Payet and Mendy have more) and has two goals to his name which shows that the he is good up the field as well. Actually, the fact that he is pretty good in attack and has the mind and awareness to create attacking threat, sees him look more like a box-to-box midfielder for the future and someone in the Makelele mould.
Imbula has no particular weaknesses; however, he is still young and tends to make some unforced errors, which he shall improve upon as and when he matures. Another major flaw in his game is that Imbula is raw or unfinished a la Mohammed Salah. The playmaker is growing and has made some mistakes that he would like to forget. Another problem is discipline, we all know that Mourinho is a no-nonsense person and cannot stand casual lax behavior. Apparently, he was dropped from the French Under-21s team for a breach of discipline after saying something inappropriate to a staff member.
Imbula’s availability has been confirmed by the Marseille outfit and a projected fee of around 9 million euros is demanded by the French unit. He could be a good 22-year old midfielder with good work rate: a decent backup to Matic. I feel it’s a purchase that Mourinho should be interested in and Mourinho should ship in Imbula to the Bridge. So, what’s your say fellow blues?
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Edited By: Ojas