What happened to the players of OM’s last campaign in the Champions League?

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What happened to the players of OM’s last campaign in the Champions League?

On the road to Tottenham, OM are launching their Champions League campaign this Wednesday evening (9 p.m.). In a group D considered homogeneous, with Sporting Portugal and Frankfurt, the Marseillais hope to do well to do better than two years ago. In 2020-2021, they had finished dead last in a group where they had crossed paths with Manchester City, Porto and Olympiakos. If the draw once again designated an English club and a Portuguese club as opponents, OM have changed a lot. Only four players from the current squad were present two years earlier.

They evolve in Europe: Premier League and Italy as host countries

From the last squad engaged in the Champions League, many players have changed air to join other European teams. After months of rumours, Boubacar Kamara finally surprised his world by signing for Aston Villa in July. He found there Morgan Sanson, left 18 months earlier. Duje Caleta-Car left OM last Thursday, the final day of the transfer window, and went to Southampton.

Boubacar Kamara against Arsenal at the end of August. (J. Feeney/Sports Press)

Loaned to Marseille at the time, Michael Cuisance was traded to Venice by Bayern Munich.

The story between Marseille Nemanja Radonjic ended in January 2021, the Serbian striker was loaned to Herta Berlin. Holder at the Vélodrome for the reception of Manchester City (3-0 defeat), and came into play on the lawn of Olympiakos (1-0 defeat), Radonjic was again loaned by OM at the end of the season, this time at Benfica. Still belonging to the Olympian club, this season he has started with Torino, where he has already scored 2 goals and delivered 1 assist in all competitions.

The winger Marley Ake, who appeared in his team’s last four Champions League matches that year, was transferred to Juventus Turin the following winter, first to play in the reserve team. He has since not really managed to impose himself in the Turin workforce.

The midfield Michael Cuisance, loaned to OM by Bayern Munich in 2020, started twice during the European campaign. Returning from loan at the end of the season, he was then sold by the Bavarian club to Venice, in Serie A and then demoted to Serie B. Cuisance is therefore now playing in the 2nd Italian division. Allt Kevin Strootmanloaned to Genoa as at the end of last season.

On his side, Jordan Amavi was sent on loan to Getafe last Thursday.

They left far from Ligue 1: Sakai and Benedetto returned home

The last elements of the 2020-2021 European squad have flown to more exotic destinations. Florian Thauvin reunited with André-Pierre Gignac in Les Tigres, Mexico, in July 2021. The same summer, Hiroki Sakai and Yuto Nagatomo returned to Japan, respectively to Urawa Reds and FC Tokyo. Dario Benedetto was transferred to Boca Juniors last January, Luis Henrique loaned to Botafogo in July and Alvaro Gonzalez signed up with Al Nasr. Mandanda’s understudy at the time, Yohann Pelé put an end to his career.

They still play in France: Mandanda has turned the page

Like Mandanda, four other players left Marseille for another French club. Valere Germain had appeared in five of the six European matches. He stayed in the South and joined Montpellier last season. Not used at the time Lucas Perrin has definitely signed up with Strasbourg after having made a one-year loan there. As Saif-Eddine Khaouinow in Clermont, and Christopher Rocchialeft for Dijon.

Like Mandanda, four other players left Marseille for another French club. Valere Germain had appeared in five of the six European matches. He stayed in the South and joined Montpellier last season. Not used at the time Lucas Perrin has definitely signed up with Strasbourg after having made a one-year loan there. As Saif-Eddine Khaouinow in Clermont, and Christopher Rocchialeft for Dijon.

They are still at the club: Payet and Rongier, main witnesses

Of this quartet that remained at the club, Dimitri Payet and Valentin Ronnier are the two who already had an important status in Marseille. The Reunionese had taken part in six OM matches in 2020-2021, including four as a starter. His double against Olympiakos had allowed the Phocaeans to save their honor by winning at least one victory (2-1). Very valuable since the debut of Igor Tudor, Rongier also benefited from the confidence of André Villas-Boas, who had started him in five of these six matches.

Other faces who took part in these European games in the jersey of OM, Pope Gueye and Leonardo Balerdi cannot boast of the same experience or the same status at the club. The Senegalese midfielder remained on the bench in the double confrontation against Porto and had been in the eleven only twice. For his part, Balerdi had only taken part in half of the meetings.

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