Rennes’ Acquisition of Dutch Midfielder Azor Matusiwa and Its Impact on Their Lineup

Will Azor Matusiwa play on Sunday at Roazhon Park against OM in the round of 16 of the Coupe de France? This is the objective of Julien Stéphan and the Rennes leaders, who reached an agreement yesterday with Reims for the transfer of the Dutch midfielder trained at Ajax Amsterdam and recruited at the end of August 2021 in Groningen for around €4 million. As revealed yesterday on our site, this is an agreement of around €16 million plus €4 in bonuses, in a formula that suits both clubs, a loan with a compulsory purchase option. The agreement between Rennes and the player, who scored in Monaco last weekend (3-1), was still missing yesterday evening, but optimism is required to make the file a reality.

The 10th in L1 turned to Matusiwa, his number 1 bis track, when he understood that Brest would not open the door for Pierre Lees-Melou, despite an offer exceeding €10 million for a 30-year-old player, which was something to think about. Matusiwa also pleased Julien Stéphan, and if all goes well, he will therefore be the first recruit of the Rennes winter transfer window, and of the new team Stéphan – Florian Maurice – Olivier Cloarec. A reinforcement in the middle, therefore, and above all a need generated by the Nemanja Matic affair, who was sidelined ten days ago and has not trained since, waiting for an initial solution. For the Serbian environment, Rennes would still have only received one offer, from Lyon, which had been refused.

Matusiwa would also be a new profile in the sector, through his impact, his volume of play, his defensive slaughter, a warrior side which may have been lacking in Rennes in recent months. “As much as an attacker likes to score, I love recovering balls and trying to improve them by playing forward,” he confided in November.

A welcome reinforcement for Julien Stéphan

The probable arrival of Matusiwa therefore offers a new possibility to Stéphan, who played the last two matches in 4-4-2 with the duo Enzo Le Fée – Baptiste Santamaria, and things are finally moving in Rennes, after a first half of the transfer window on the brakes. Until then, the Rennes coach even had fewer players (Matic, Wooh at the CAN, Gouiri and Assignon injured) to which was added Rieder (metatarsal).

He restarted the machine on the field but his group needed to be strengthened after the observation of a faulty first leg. Up front, there is perhaps less urgency with the new form of Kalimuendo, but it undoubtedly remains to attract a central defender in addition to the Ghanaian Alidu Seidu (23 years old, currently at the CAN), who can also play at right and for which an agreement with Clermont is on track.

2024-01-17 23:25:08
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