Loaned last season to OM, Leonardo Balerdi has definitely made a commitment with the Phocéens. Slightly criticized last year, the Argentinian has all the right things and is added to the list of masterclasses of Pablo Longoria.
” Olympique de Marseille have reached an agreement with Borussia Dortmund for Argentina international defender Leonardo Balerdi. After the success of his medical examination, Leonardo signed up with the Olympian club for a 5-year contract. He is the third Olympian rookie in this 2021 summer transfer window. “It is with this press release that the Phocéens recorded the return to Marseille of Leonardo Balerdi.
Last year, the young Argentinian was loaned by Borussia Dortmund with an option to buy. The latter was too high and OM finally managed to negotiate with the German club for an amount of € 8 million. During last season, it was especially under the leadership of Jorge Sampaoli that he asserted himself. So, of course, he made a few mistakes, but in reality it was an excellent shot achieved by OM.
When he landed in Europe in 2019 from Boca Juniors, he was only 20 years old. He brushes his teeth a bit, but plays very little at BvB. Sensing the good deal, André Villas-Boas pushes for a loan while he trains the Phocaeans. Done. All year round, he will participate in matches or be on the bench, but always called with the professionals. Which is already a plus vis-à-vis his first European experience.
This time, by signing definitively for OM, which has already given him his chance and who will give it again, he will obtain a stability that he had not known until now and which can only encourage him to progress and stay focused on performance. An asset that should change a lot of things compared to last season and previous ones.
A low price
Second positive point to its signature: its price. His purchase option was estimated at 15 million euros, a sum too high for OM, but also for the player who had, of course, shown qualities, but also many faults. Recovering a 22-year-old center-back at 8 million euros has become relatively rare in modern football.
In reality, we know Pablo Longoria’s objective with this kind of movement: not to overpay a young and talented player, to push him to progress and to become an accomplished player while making a great added value when it is decided to sell it. We can therefore consider that this transfer is not a big risk-taking and, on the contrary, a nice movement in the short and medium term.
Youth makes mistakes
What was criticized for him last year was above all for having his head in the air, for being sometimes not very concentrated and therefore for missing interventions that were fatal. Except that we quickly forget that he is a very young player and that you sometimes have to know how to be patient. Any young element of this age makes mistakes in concentrating.
His sporting maturity is still a bit far away and this is also what allowed OM to drastically reduce the transfer allowance. But, with the will of Jorge Sampaoli, already observed last season, and the stability that he will finally find in his – very – young career, he can only progress and therefore erase, as and when, these small defects. , which for the moment have big consequences. But for these three points in particular, the transfer of Leonardo Balerdi is good news.
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