Monday, January 31, 2011

Ligue 1 transfers...much to do about nothing

No surprise - Sessegnon leaves PSG for £6m and heads to the EPL to play for the Black Cats of Sunderland. After the Benin midfielder falling out with the PSG leadership, and the fact the emergence of Nene has really pushed Sessegnon to a substitutes role, there is no shock that he was shown the exit. He had fallen out with PSG manager Kombouare, to the point that neither man could really coexist anymore at the Parc Des Princes. While I am not entirely saddened by the departure of Sessegnon, I feel as if he did not live up to what was an enormous potential. When he was purchased from Le Mans I thought he could become one of the best midfielders in Ligue 1. His ability to play the #10 role or drop deeper and play a more defensive role or even play out wide was something that PSG could have exploited. Unfortunately he also came with some attitude baggage, which reared its ugly head this season. Oh well. Thankfully the arrival of Nene made the Benin midfielder expendable.

What about other transfer moves...well there were very few of note.

The young St Etienne striker Payet was rumored to be heading to PSG or Chelsea, both offers turned down by Les Verts. Not surprising, I think that St Etienne have a legitimate chance at European football - sitting only 2 points off 3rd place. For that reason why sell one of their best offensive players, a player that has blossomed over the past half season.

Then there was the off again on again moves at Bordeaux involving Kevin Gameiro, who was also rumored to be heading to Spain and the potential for Cisse to come back from Greece to play for Bordeaux...of course neither happened. Former Lyon midfielder Mahamadou Diarra returns to Ligue 1, this time with relegation battling Monaco.

One interesting note was the sale of Adil Rami from Lille to Valencia, where the player will remain at Lille until the summer. To me this is the first piece of what is sure to be a summer exodus from Ligue 1 leaders Lille - Hazard rumored to be heading to Arsenal, Gervinho will head out the door and I am sure Cabaye and Sow, maybe even Landreau will attract the attention of bigger European clubs. That will be a shame for a club that has been built wisely over the past few seasons, have a legitimate chance of winning Ligue 1 and could head into Champions League football a shell of themselves. 

Overall a very quiet winter transfer window for Ligue 1, not entirely surprising since much of the talent has been stripped out of France over the past few seasons!

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