Video evidence: Mathieu Valbuena (Liverpool & Wigan)

Sky Sports reports that Mathieu Valbuena’s agent has stated that the 24-year-old no longer sees his future at Marseille and may end up plying his trade in the Premier League. Marseille have confirmed that they received an offer from Wigan, whilst Liverpool are monitoring the players’ situation as it unfolds.

Valbuena’s diminutive stature (he stands at 5ft 5 inches) and animated playing style has seen him christened as “le petit velo” (the little bicycle) at the Stade Vélodrome.

The attacking midfielder began his career with Libourne Saint-Seurin where he scored 10 goals in 53 appearances. It was in his second season where he came to prominence bagging 9 of his 10 goals. With all the bigger French clubs chasing his signature, it was Marseille who won the race and he put pen to paper in 2006.

At Marseille he continued his development as a player and when Franck Ribery left for Bayern Munich L’OM had a ready made replacement. He is right footed, versatile and capable of playing on either wing, in central midfield or behind the lone striker in the Denis Bergkamp role.

He is one of those mesmerising players who seem to have the ball tied to their laces. Step-overs do not form part of his repertoire instead he looks to beat players with a sudden change of direction. His close control is fantastic and sometimes defenders are left wondering how he has danced away from a tight situation.

Many Liverpool fans will have memories of his wonder strike at Anfield in the Champions League. However, goal scoring is not his forte and at L’OM he has only netted 7 goals in 59 appearances and tracking back is not something he believes should concern him.

Furthermore, whether his slight frame will stand the rough and tumble of the Premier League is questionable. In France he has drawn lots of fouls around the eighteen yard box, whether referees in England will be quite so forthcoming is to be seen.

Valbuena has yet to taste international football having to withdraw from squads due to injury.

Although Wigan are flush with cash following the sale of Valencia, if he does come to the Premiership it is more likely to be wearing the red of Liverpool. Wigan’s bid is probably the prelude to the beginning of a bidding war and strengthens the players hand in any contractual negotiations. With Italian and Spanish clubs also interested, he will move to a team that has qualified for the Champions League and can further his international aspirations.

Video evidence of Mathieu Valbuena can be seen here.