As the summer transfer window draws to a close, football fans around the world eagerly await the news of big-money signings and exciting player movements. This year, however, the story seems to be a familiar one for Olympique de Marseille supporters. While President Pablo Longoria has once again splashed the cash to bring in several high-profile names, the club’s inability to offload players has left many questioning their transfer strategy.
The arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ismaïla Sarr, Joaquin Correa, Renan Lodi, Geoffrey Kondogbia, and Iliman Ndiaye has undoubtedly injected a sense of excitement into the Marseille faithful. However, the lack of significant departures from the club is a cause for concern. Despite rumors surrounding players like Leonardo Balerdi, the Argentine defender has remained at the Stade Vélodrome, leaving fans wondering why a potential move did not materialize.
Meanwhile, Ajax Amsterdam, known for their astute transfer dealings, managed to swoop in and secure two players who were once on Marseille’s radar. Josip Sutalo, a player long admired by OM’s young president, has left Dinamo Zagreb to join the Dutch giants for a reported fee of approximately €19.5 million. Additionally, Georges Mikautadze, a highly talented Georgian forward, caught the attention of Marseille during his impressive performances in Ligue 2 and later in Ligue 1 with FC Metz. However, it was Ajax who managed to secure his services for a fee of €16.5 million.
The failure to sign Balerdi may have been a disappointment for Ajax initially, but their swift acquisition of Sutalo and Mikautadze has undoubtedly softened the blow. The Eredivisie powerhouse has managed to secure two players who were once considered priority targets for Marseille. This double swoop, totaling €36 million, highlights Ajax’s ability to capitalize on Marseille’s inaction in the transfer market.
It is crucial for Marseille to reflect on their transfer strategy and address the imbalance between significant spending and lackluster sales. While the arrival of marquee signings may provide short-term excitement, the long-term sustainability of the club depends on a well-rounded approach to player recruitment and sales.