Scorer Sunday night for OM against Dijon, to unlock a meeting that turned out to be more complicated than expected against the red lantern of Ligue 1, Leonardo Balerdi gave Jorge Sampaoli all the confidence and esteem that the technician has in him. Argentine.
Since Jorge Sampaoli took office at OM, Leonardo Balerdi has held the position. The Argentine coach appreciates his sense of placement, his stimulus skills, and a certain grint in defense, that his young compatriot, 22, must still channel. And Sampaoli is aware of it. But the OM coach is convinced that Balerdi has all the qualities of a future very good defender, with indeed some flaws to erase: unnecessary mistakes, sometimes; moody gestures, too often; and some stupid losses of balls, as in Nice two weeks ago, on the second goal of the Aiglons, which was going to precipitate the defeat of OM. After the match, Jorge Sampaoli had also insisted on the fact that “punctual errors could always be corrected”, preferring to retain the overall performance of Balerdi and his qualities.
Leonardo Balerdi has all the confidence and affection of Sampaoli. “The two appreciate each other enormously”, confides their respective entourage. And Sampaoli, who berated the players orally but without taking any sporting sanction after Balerdi and Lirola’s night dinner in Catalonia, has already made it known to Pablo Longoria and the Argentine player himself that he would like to be able to count on him for the next season.
OM should negotiate with Dortmund
Leonardo Balerdi is on loan from Dortmund with an option to buy around € 14million. OM considers this amount too high, and should negotiate with the German club, either to lower the transfer price, or to consider an alternative solution, such as a new loan from the player.
Leonardo Balerdi has relived since the arrival of Jorge Sampaoli, and is very favorable to the idea of continuing his career at OM, especially under the orders of the former Argentina coach. André Villas-Boas, at the time, also promised him a bright future but without giving him so much playing time. The Portuguese coach had even shown some signs of impatience in the face of the sometimes irregular performance of the young Argentine defender, especially when Balerdi had missed his Champions League match against Manchester City at the Velodrome. Some defensive mistakes that had made Marseille supporters very skeptical towards him.
With Sampaoli, Balerdi blossoms and finds a smile again. The international break was also an opportunity to make some adjustments in the three axial defense that Sampaoli particularly likes. Facing Dijon, the Argentine defender was evolving “axis-right”, leaving the place of pure central to Alvaro. It is also a way of not giving Balerdi too many responsibilities, and of letting him mature and confirm the expectations placed on him.