Recent sports news are linking Tottenham Hotspur with a £6m bid for Massadio Haïdara. The question on everyone’s lips is obviously: Who is he?” I’ll try to shed light on the subject.
First of all, Massaido Haïdara isn’t Japanese as his name might suggest, he is French. He was born in 1992 and grew up in the Paris suburb which saw a certain Nicolas Anelka rise to football stardom a few years before. As a kid he played for local club FC Versailles 78 and a few other suburban teams before going east and joining the Nancy youth system, aged 15.
Following the usual trail for a teenager, he grew up steadily without any particular highlight. He was first called to the professional group in the late 2010 days and grabbed the opportunity to take part in his first couple of games. Soon after, he was offered his first professional contract at the club. For most of the year, he only played a small part in the club’s performances. Only with new coach Jean Fernandez, did he gain some playing time. He actually quickly became a regular starter at the left back position and helped his team which looked doomed halfway through the 2011-2012 season, reach safety and stay in the top tier. In the meantime he was offered a first chance of playing with an official blue jersey on as he was called with the national U19 side. The teenager was praised for his pace and very good relationship with his sideline midfielder Yohan Mollo.
The current season sadly started like the previous one for AS Nancy Lorraine with only one win out of 15 games and a sad bottom line position in the classification. Despite this situation, one man emerged as a clear satisfaction so far and this man is the young left back we are talking about.
On the current situation topic, the youngster says: "With my club we don’t have good results so far. I hope it will get better. It’s a bit difficult for us, we are lacking of luck and we can’t win matches. But we keep working to turn our luck around. Individually, there is good and bad. I keep playing which is a satisfaction because I deeply wanted to confirm the good said about me last year.”
Of course, the emerged side of an iceberg never goes unnoticed, certainly not by the hundreds of scouts wandering around the Ligue 1 stadiums every weekend. Tottenham Hotspur seem to be the most pressing club but not the only one. They are apparently facing competition from Fiorentina but also from Paris Saint-Germain whose manager recently classified the player as an interesting one.
Nonetheless and despite admitting there are a certain number of clubs interested, Nancy sport director Eric Martin assured that no concrete offer has yet been received in the club’s mailbox: "I only know that the press have put out many declarations, but for now Massadio remains a Nancy player."
Talking about an interest from Paris Saint-Germain, the player says: “It’s a big surprise, Paris is not what it used to be anymore and we only hear big names linked to the club, only world stars. It’s very flattering, it’s a pleasure. But so far I am a hundred per cent with Nancy”.
At the end of the last season Aston Villa seemed close to seal a £2M deal for the U19 international but since then his value rose quickly and is now considered to be in the region of £6.5M, an amount you have to spend nowadays for a future top level defender.
If the deal was to be complete, the young Massaido would face competition in White Hart Lane from the versatile men in place: Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Jan Vertonghen. Nothing he cannot surpass if he lives to the expectation. He would also join a relatively large French community making easier his adaptation abroad.
Tottenham Hotspur’s board look like they need to act fast if they want to add this promising young defender to their team being built for the next few years.