Olympique de Marseille has never been a wise student during transfer window periods. Since the arrival of Pablo Longoria, it’s even worse. Since his arrival as sports director in July 2020, OM have welcomed 31 new players, not counting the players who were on loan and whose purchase option has been exercised (Ünder, Lopez, Harit in particular).
Many blows therefore for the Spanish sporting director have now passed to the higher floor since he became president of the club after the sidelining of Jacques-Henri Eyraud in February 2021. Some have been crowned with success like Mattéo Guendouzi or Pau Lopez, others have been disappointing like Luis Henrique, Gerson or Luis Suarez, more recently.
OM, Arsenal’s laboratory?
But what we notice above all is that the president of OM has favorite interlocutors to negotiate transfers. Since taking office, four players have arrived from Arsenal. Some released from their contract (Sead Kolasinac), others on loan (William Saliba, Nuno Tavares) and a last, who has become a pillar of Sampaoli and Tudor, whose purchase option has been exercised (Mattéo Guendouzi).
If we exclude the particular situation of the Bosnian, all the others are part of a cooperation strategy. Young players who have not – or not yet – their place in the first team of Mikel Arteta and who will glean playing time under the Marseille sun. It worked well for William Saliba, a defender who became ultra-impressive and ultra-important for the Gunners.
This may also be the case for Nuno Tavares, who still has to progress and learn, which he will not be able to do in London. OM is therefore positioned as a sort of satellite club of the English team. ” Arsenal has the means to make bets, which is not the case with OM. Pablo Longoria can therefore recover players that he could not buy, at a lower cost. Even if we can’t really build on that, except in the case of Mattéo Guendouzi, shelved by Arteta “, confides to us a close friend of the Marseille management.
Generational closeness with Thiago Pinto
But if we take a closer look, it’s not just Arsenal who are OM’s privileged partner in transfers. Since Pablo Longoria took office, 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 directly this summer (Jordan Veretout).
This connection is explained by the proximity between the leaders of the two clubs. Thiago Pinto, appointed in January 2021, is 38 and is part of the new wave of European football leaders in which Pablo Longoria (36) and Javier Ribalta (42) join. The new methods are theirs and in this it is easier to discuss.
” Thiago Pinto, Pablo Longoria and Javier Ribalta are all young and see football in the same way. This is partly why they frequently deal together. They see things the same way and so it’s easier to get along than with people from another time like there are still in clubs. “, advances the aforementioned source. It is for these reasons in particular that OM recruits a lot of players from these teams and that there will be others in the future, without a doubt.