10 January Transfers Everyone Wants To See: #9 Mehdi Benatia
No matter how good some players are, football players or otherwise – they kind of need a bigger turf or neighbourhood to show that they belong, to prove that they have the “it” factor. Such is the story of some of the most exciting professional footballers in the game today, they can only become as big as the club they play for and we have a few names that many would want to see move to other pastures. Some have been rumoured away from their clubs and some haven’t but sooner rather than later, transfers are inevitable. This next one, is all about class.
Morocco national team captain Mehdi Benatia, is nearing the end of an illustrious career. Some of the notable contributions of the 31-year-old came during his time at Bayern Munich, Roma and most recently at the Old Lady, Juventus. During the 2018 FIFA World Cup, he showed that he still got it as he expertly marshalled the Lions of the Atlas’ defence and rallied the whole team, though deprived of a fairy tale ending to the campaign. Above his class and ability on the ball, Mehdi’s most sought after attribute right now is his experience. Having fallen out of favour in Turin, with Chiellini and Bonucci preferred for the central defensive roles, Mehdi has had to warm the bench. This has led to many Benatia fans’ desperation to see the veteran move on hoping he would have one famous last straw in the colors of another fancy club. And perhaps even win another trophy in the process.
Big clubs eager to effectively sort out their defensive issues for immediate results have the proven centre-back on high alert. The likes of Manchester United and Arsenal are not sleeping on him and a move may be imminent. Considering Koulibaly whom we have also featured in this series, African defensive stars might just be the get out of jail card for many top clubs.