EXCLUSIVE: Ligue 1 journalist gives interesting insight into Javier Manquillo’s time at Marseille

Following the signature of Javier Manquillo, we’ve reached out to Ligue 1 journalist Mohammed Ali who has given us an insight into what Newcastle can expect from the Spanish full back – who enjoyed a successful loan spell at Marseille during the 2015/16 season.

Mohammed, an avid Marseille fan who writes for Goal and French Football Weekly, kindly agreed to take part in a Q & A with NUFC Blog and had the following to say when we asked him about Newcastle’s latest signing:

Question 1 – Manquillo spent the season on loan at Marseille in 2015/16. What sort of impression did he make during his time with yourselves?

“He’s a very reliable player. Defensively aware and combined well with the forward players on the right side – but what stood out was his work rate and versatility.

“At Marseille, we had a bit of an injury crisis at LB at the time, but Manquillo really impressed deputising on the other flank.”

Question 2 – What would you say are his strengths & weaknesses as a player?

“Strengths – good work rate, strong in the tackle, very versatile & has some positive attacking instincts.”

Weaknesses: not the strongest of defenders physically & may get caught out of position by clever attacking play.”

Question 3 – Why do you think he struggled at Liverpool & Sunderland in the seasons either side of his successful loan spell at Marseille? Can he be a hit in the Premier League?

“I think he struggled because managers were reluctant to utilise him properly or quick to drop him for other options. At Marseille he had coaches who he worked closely with to improve, just like at Atletico.”

“It was Bielsa who signed him, and Michel – a former Spanish legend who coached him throughout the season. Compare that with Moyes & Rodgers who lacked the man management to bring the best out of him.”

“I think Benitez will reverse that, having a compatriot will obviously make things easier. But it will be his 3rd PL season, and he simply has no time to waste.”

High praise from Mohammed and a pleasant read given Manquillo had his critics during his spell at Sunderland last season.

An interesting insight – we thank Mohammed for giving up his time to speak to us.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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