If OM are running at full speed this season, it owes it first to the work of André Villas-Boas, but also to his few recruits last summer who have raised the level of the team by several notches. Among them, the contribution of Valentin Rongier in the middle. Adapted in record time after his transfer from FC Nantes, the former canary never ceases to amaze us, even if, as AVB pointed out on Wednesday night, he only needs one goal to become definitively the darling of the Velodrome. In the meantime, the more matches pass, the more we think that OM has made a superb deal by (difficultly) snatching its midfielder from the Nantes president Waldemar Kita. This is confirmed to Phocéen by the former boss of the FCN training centre Guy Hillion. Recruiter for Chelsea for thirteen years, this sharp eye of French football has not missed any OM and Valentin Rongier this season. Interview:
Six months after his transfer to OM, how do you judge Valentin Rongier’s season?
Guy Hillion: “She’s excellent to me. His margin of progress since he was at OM is even more obvious than it was in Nantes, it is even more efficient. As I told you six months ago, his mind makes him an ideal player for OM. In addition, I can assure you that it is not him who will feed the news section. It keeps growing in power”.
André Villas-Boas says he only misses the goals. Is it a matter of lucidity on the surface? Want to go through with his actions?
Gh: “I agree with Villas-Boas, but it’s not a matter of envy. That is what he is being asked to do on the ground. He cannot afford to be too offensive, because this task is rather entrusted to Sanson. You can’t ask him to be super efficient in the middle and score extra goals. If he starts doing that, he will no longer be in Marseille but in Barcelona (laughs). On the other hand, he is able to give assists”.
At the beginning of the season, you told us that he was not far from the French team. So that’s still the case?
Gh: “Ah yes, I think. For me it will be in the pre-list for Euro 2020. After that, Didier Deschamps will choose but, given the seriousness of the player and his volume of play, he is really a boy of great value. In addition, there is also the exhibition with OM that comes into play. From the moment a player manages to impose himself on you, his value skyrockets”.
That makes you right when you told us that the 15 million euros of his transfer was a good deal…
Gh: “Of course, it’s a very good investment. I had no doubt about that and I’m glad to see that it’s confirmed”.