[World Cup] Key Player Review: France – Mathieu Valbuena

When Didier Deschamps was appointed Marseille manager in 2009, he immediately attempted to sell Valbuena, believing he wasn’t compatible with Deschamps’ preferred 4-3-3 formation.

Five years later, Valbuena is his key player—in a 4-3-3 formation.

Valbuena interprets the role in an interesting way, drifting laterally to provide both right-sided width and a proper creative threat from between the lines.

On his day he’s absolutely superb, a magician of a footballer capable of being both reliable and incisive with his passing, working excellently in tandem with a centre-forward.

Ahead of a powerful midfield lacking an outright creator, Valbuena is pivotal.



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