Geoffrey Kondogbia: Here's Why Arsenal Should Sign Sevilla's Makelele
The city of Sevilla is known for its sunshine and its laid back atmosphere but while one half of the city is basking in the sun another has thunderstorms overhead. The Sanchez Pizjuán has seen better days. For a while Sevilla were running out of space to put the silverware, but those days are gone. Bitter rivals Real Betis are now on the up, Sevilla are out of the top ten and have changed manager mid season, again. Apart from a good cup run, there has been little to smile about for Sevillistas. A lot of key players have failed to step up this season but one player who has impressed is Geoffrey Kondogbia, who is now attracting attention from clubs all around Europe.
Kondogbia was born in France and has represented the country of his birth right up to Under 20 level but has not ruled out following his brother, also a professional footballer, and opting to play for the Central African Republic. He joined Lens at the age of twelve and while Raphael Varane was the one making the headlines, Kondogbia still stood out. At underage level, coaches praised his maturity and his ability and soon he started to shine and made himself noticed. With his contract due to expire in 2013, Lens were keen to sell instead of losing him on a free transfer and so invited offers. In May 2012, Juventus made enquiries and with AC Milan and also Napoli keen, they stepped up their efforts and it was announced by some commentators that he had signed. The player admitted that he was negotiating a move but when things fell through, he turned his sights to Spain. Sevilla acted quickly and signed him. Now once again he is on the radar of Europe’s top clubs but they will have to shell out a lot more than the €4m that Sevilla were believed to have paid.
So what type of player is he? He generally plays as a defensive midfielder and sits just in front of the defence. He is a bulky lad, who is 6ft 2. He is left footed but is comfortable on his right. He is not afraid of a tackle or two and is lethal in the air. As an attacking option at Sevilla he has been held back and told to shore up and maintain the defence. Under Michel, while at times he showed his talent, he looked a little off the pace and lost but then there were other games where he was impressive. Since the arrival of Unai Emery he has grown and those performances have caught the eye of at least one English club, with Chelsea being the latest.
Sevilla are a club in debt and their President was found guilty by a court a while back and is due to serve time. Although they don’t want to sell key players, should they fail to get into Europe again, they may have very little choice. Alvaro Negredo, Navas and Kondogbia would be the easiest to move on and the club will want to sell quickly so they can buy replacements. Yet, most believe that Navas will never leave due to his anxiety problems so the French youngster may be the best option.
There is no doubt that he could be a success in England but he may end up being dubbed the ‘next Vieria’ and he is nothing of the sort. The one player that you may compare him to is, Claude Makélélé but that too is putting a lot of expectation on his shoulders. Right now Sevilla are saying nothing but they know that they can’t hold on.