Adil Rami: Everything Man Utd Need To Know About Their Potential Next Centre-Back
Valencia were on the verge of greatness. Rafa Benitez had delivered both European and Domestic success but it was a false dawn. Money was spent on the likes of Joaquín for €25m and Ever Banega for €20m and a new stadium was proposed. Now Valencia have serious problems. With the club in serious debt having two stadiums, one, which they can’t sell, and another that they can’t complete, these are sad days for Los Che. In recent years they have had to sell their top players to help service their debt but that was under old President Manuel Llorente. Earlier this year he walked and Amadeo Salvo has taken over the reins. He has promised to do things a little differently.
Salvo has announced that no major stars will be sold from now on if they don’t want to leave but that the club will start to sell fringe players and back up players as they try to bring down their debt. One player who has been told he can go is French international Adil Rami but the player isn’t go to move just for the sake of it. The club wanted to keep Roberto Soldado to try and appease fans, although it proved too difficult to do so, but they have decided that another saleable asset is the central defender that they picked up two years ago from Lille. The club have admitted they will listen to offers but the player has said he will only go to a club that he wants to go to and not one the club tells him to join.
‘It is not normal that the director of football should stop me in training and inform me that they have received an offer from Anzhi and ask if I want to go. The club treat me like an object to make money ’ said the one time gardener a few months back as Valencia considered selling him in the winter window. Man City and Arsenal are admirers and so too are Borussia Dortmund but the Germans were told that they would have to stump up at least €20m last summer and so were put off. Now the player’s release clause has become common knowledge, Valencia are willing to lower their demands and according to some Spanish Press, there are willing to accept just €9m. Man Utd are now considering whether to make an offer. So what exactly could they get?
Well, born in December 1985, Rami was a late bloomer. He played amateur football until he was twenty. Although he was born on the island of Corsica, he moved to mainland France where he played for local side Fréjus. He had no real ambition to be a footballer but was convinced to play by his Coach who liked his versatility as he moved him around the pitch depending on what positions needed to be filled. Whilst he played he was also forced to work part time for the local city council and one of his jobs was as a gardener. Lille scouted him and signed him for the their amateur side that played in the 4th division and moved him into defence. After one year he signed his first professional contract, at the age of 21 and he made his way into the Lille first team. After some good displays he attracted the attention of some big clubs with Marseille making an offer that was rejected. The defender was so incensed about not being allowed to move he refused to play for the first team and said he would even train with the reserves if he had to. He later apologised for the comments and in 2011 he would win the French league and also make his French debut. Valencia who were desperate at the back signed him up quickly and he has been in La Liga for two years now but not everyone is convinced.
The simple fact is that when Rami is good, he is very good. He can be good at man marking, tackling, passing and in the air. His passing is normally short, quick little taps to team-mates, but he is capable of long passes and also knocking the ball on with his head. He wins on average 90% of his tackles and 70% of his aerial duels and when he takes on a player, he is successful 65% of the time. So what is the problem? Well as said when he is good he is very good but when he isn’t focused he is very bad. Last season 50% of the time he lost the ball, Valencia conceded. He complicates things too much and his decision-making is very suspect and at times for both Valencia and France he looks out of place. His commitment at times is very questionable both on and off the pitch. He also has a problem with discipline.
Apart from his outburst mentioned above when at Lille, there are other incidents of poor discipline, the most recent was this season when he returned from France injured. He didn’t do it whilst on international duty though. He returned injured because he was dancing Gangnam Style at a charity event. Fans were furious and so too were the club as he was forced to miss one game due to blisters. Some fans tried to approach him at training and demanded he return his weekly salary. Valencia were fuming but had limited options at the back and so they accepted the players apology but they haven’t forgotten his antics and that is one of the key reasons they want to move him on.
Valencia want to sort out any deal as soon as possible. Pellegrini knows him from his time in Spain and Arsenal have scouted him a few times both in France and in Spain. The player has flaws but maybe with the right club he may be able to get his head sorted and become a world-class defender but he could also be a very expensive dud.