Thursday, March 30, 2023

Watford Linked With Ligue 1 Defender: A Smashing Move By Mazzarri?

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Arka Tarun Mukherjee
Arsenal fan and football expert, Arka Tarun Mukherjee actually used to play cricket at semi pro level. An ardent student of football tactics, ATM is very passionate about the tactical aspects of the game and has a dream of being a football manager in the future.

Watford gave a good account of their resilience in their season opener against Southampton as the Hornets held their opponents to a draw despite playing the last 15 minutes of regulation time with a man less. As expected, coach Walter Mazzarri fielded his team in a 3-5-2, with Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo up front. The home team got the first goal inside 10 minutes but had to settle for a draw eventually as Ben Watson got sent off in the 76th minute.  Getting points from the first fixture is always a good thing, holding out with 10 men for the last 14-15 minutes is even better. Mazzarri is confident of his team after their opening day display but wants to add one defender more to his setup at Vicarage Road. That defender is reported to be Marcel Tisserand.

Tisserand is a 23-year-old French-born Congolese defender who plays for AS Monaco. After graduating from the youth setup at Monaco, Tisserand made his way into their first team in 2013. After making only 6 appearances for the first team that season, he was loaned to Toulouse to get some experience and playing time. In the 2014/15 season, the defender made 17 starts in the Ligue 1, giving some good performances at the back as he attracted interest from Leicester City.

Claudio Ranieri, handed him his debut in 2013 when the Italian was the manager of the French club and he was keen on bringing him to the King Power to bolster his backline.  Monaco decided to keep him instead and the player spent another season on loan at Toulouse.

Last season, the 6ft 1-inch defender made his presence felt with 32 starts in the French League averaging 2.4 tackles, 2.7 interceptions and 4.6 clearances per 90 minutes as Toulouse FC survived the drop from French top flight and reached the Semi Finals of the Coupe De La Ligue. Tisserand was one of the most important players for the club last season, alongside their talisman Ben Yedder.  A defender who is strong in the air, in the tackle as well as making interceptions, the Monaco player would be a very nice addition to the Watford squad.

The Premier League warrants physicality alongside maturity, Tisserand has plenty of the former but working under someone like Mazzarri, he would learn quite a few tricks of the trade which will allow him to be a better defender as well. Last year he expected to get a taste of English football with Leicester interested, that move didn’t happen. This time around, it’s Watford who are offering to take him to the place he could have gone a season ago, and he should be willing to make use of that.

Stats via Squawka

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