November 24, 2020

Joining Marseille was the most important for me – Papa Gueye

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The former Le Harve player of Sengalese descent has emphasised why a transfer to the French giants meant a lot to him

Marseille midfielder Pape Gueye has asserted that joining the French club was a very important decision for him.

The 21-year-old Franco-Sengalese moved to the Stade Velodrome from Le Harve where his senior career began. He was supposed to join Watford on a free transfer, but he pulled the plug on the transfer even after an agreement was reached, citing contractual irregularities for the refusal.

Gueye has since been acclimatising with the Marseille squad, playing in four pre-season games so far, three of them ending in victories.  He has been pleased with how things have been going so far at the club.

“This situation, I managed it rather well. I am well surrounded. I am not focused on this. I had to join Marseille, it was the most important for me,” Gueye said as per FootMercato.

“I am very happy to be a Marseille player. I chose Marseille because it is a great club. We all know Marseille, the supporters, the stadium, the quality of the players in the workforce, whether the oldest or the youngest.

“It makes a good mix. Marseille is what I envisioned when I was younger. It’s a childhood dream. Before all that, I spoke to the coach. The most important thing for me today is to be here, I’m happy for that.

“My arrival went very well. I was well received by the group and the staff. Frankly, everything went well. I was well integrated into the field. The players spoke to me a lot as I am one of the youngest in the group. I am very happy with my adaptation and I thank the players and all the staff.”

One player in Marseille that will be facing competition for a regular starting berth is Boubacar Kamara. The 20-year old Franco-Senegalese centre-back played 24 times in Ligue 1 last term as the Phoenicians finished in second place and qualified for the Champions League for the first time in seven years.

The arrival of Argentine defender Leonardo Balerdi on loan from Borussia Dortmund will put Kamara’s place under threat, but coach Andre Villas-Boas does not think it will be a problem.

“It is true that he [Balerdi] is well integrated. He’s a very interested person in the development of the game, he asks a lot of questions,” the former Chelsea boss said.

“He is well integrated, he is a very good person. We had conversations before he signed here. In this position, he is in an important competition with Boubacar Kamara who will evolve. But we talked about it, competition is part of football. He can also play more forward, we also tested that. I am happy with his technical and physical progress.”