The vastly experienced midfielder has spent his entire career in Ligue 1. But now he will be gearing up for a new challenge in a new country. He has all the abilities to succeed in English football and will compete for a place in a very strong Villa midfield which has been settled for much of this season.
His qualities could be the difference for Aston Villa in the second half of the season as Dean Smith’s side battle for an unexpected European place.
Morgan Sanson: The Midfielder Ready for the Premier League With Aston Villa
Sanson Possess Plenty of Quality and Bags of Experience
The 26-year-old is a product of the highly regarded Le Mans academy. Sanson comes from a club which produced the likes of Didier Drogba. His quality was spotted by Montpellier who signed him at just 18 years of age.
He was a fixture for Montpellier during his three-and-half years with the club. Sanson clocked up over 100 Ligue 1 appearances and established himself as one of the best central midfielders in the league.
Sanson moved to Marseille in 2017. Since joining them, Sanson has helped them consistently finish in Ligue 1’s top six and helped the club return to the Champions League. Again, like his time at Montpellier, Sanson was a fixture in the midfield, becoming the key figure in the middle park for his creativity, goals and leadership despite at times trying circumstances with Marseille’s off-field issues.
Marseille have faced financial turmoil on more than one occasion during Sanson’s time in Southern France. The current financial climate in Ligue 1 has meant players are available for the right price. Aston Villa have pounced on that as Dean Smith continues to build an impressive squad.
It appears at 26, he is ready to test himself in the Premier League. His qualities on the ball are clear for all to see – He can pick a pass, start attacks and has plenty of energy. Sanson is a dynamic central midfielder who does both sides of the game excellently and, since his Ligue 1 debut in 2013, no central midfielder has more goals and assists combined.
It will take time for him to adapt to English football, but he certainly has the abilities to light up the Premier League.
Sanson Adds Fierce Competition to an Already Strong Aston Villa Midfield
The Villains have watched the Marseille midfielder for some time, eventually winning the race for one of Ligue 1’s best players. Sanson’s arrival adds further competition to an already excellent Villa midfield and Dean Smith will have plenty of selection issues if Sanson makes an immediate impact.
Villa’s midfield has generally been established this campaign with Smith preferring a three of Douglas Luiz, John McGinn and, when fit, Ross Barkley. However, with Barkley struggling with injury during this season, Smith has alternated that third role between Jack Grealish, Jacob Ramsey and Marvelous Nakamba – all three have impressed in the midfield three this season.
The arrival of Sanson adds a different dynamic, an extra body and the replacement for Conor Hourihane who departed for Swansea City. Sanson’s arrival also suggests Dean Smith sees Jack Grealish as part of his attacking, front three which is where Grealish is at his blistering best.
Sanson Shares Similarities With New Aston Villa Teammate John McGinn
The Frenchman will take time to settle but he is joining a very tight unit at Villa, filled with togetherness, belief and determination to succeed. Sanson has fellow Frenchman Frederic Guilbert to help him acclimatise to his new surroundings. The joker of Villa’s pack is the likeable Scotsman John McGinn who, like Sanson, is a very tidy midfielder.
In terms of style, Sanson and McGinn are very alike. Both are dynamic, good passers of the ball and love a goal when the opportunity presents itself. However, where the two differ is the defensive awareness McGinn possesses when he pinches the ball and forces the opposition back. McGinn works tirelessly for the team and certainly, Sanson will need to find a similar level to be a regular in the starting line-up.
A partnership between Sanson and McGinn could be very exciting if Smith decides to utilise both in the same team. They are very similar players and will complement each other well if they strike up a good relationship on the pitch.
Sanson is a box to box but his work is arguably better offensively than defensively as his league record suggests. He is certainly different to the midfielders Villa have and that is a bonus for Dean Smith.
Dean Smith will be aware of the quality Sanson has and his arrival adds key experience Villa don’t have – European football. Sanson played in all of Marseille’s Champions League games this season and despite their very poor campaign, Sanson was arguably one of their better performers.
He has that big-game mentality something he can share with his new teammates. Villa are pushing in that direction with European football not out of the question.
At 26, Sanson Will be Confident His Best Years Are in English Football
Despite being 26 years of age, Sanson has built up plenty of experience making over 200 career appearances across several competitions and he is very much-reaching the peak of his powers.
Dean Smith looks at particular attributes when adding to his squad. Unsurprisingly, potential is one of those. Sanson brings that in abundance and certainly at 26, Smith will believe he can produce his best football in a Villa shirt. The Frenchman is very much a Dean Smith-like midfielder – good passing range and ability to create something out of nothing. Sanson will get the manager’s backing and that should be an encouragement for the French midfielder to produce his best football.
Sanson will relish the Premier League challenge and certainly, he arrives at a time where Villa are certainly in their busiest period of the season. Currently, Villa are on course to complete five league games in 12 days in addition to playing catch up following their coronavirus outbreak. Sanson’s arrival will be timely but time to settle in will take a back seat at least for the next couple of weeks.
A new challenge lies ahead for Sanson. The Premier League is very different to Ligue 1 and he will realise those differences as soon as he gets a consistent run of games. He like any new player, will need time to adjust but certainly, he can make the step up.
Arrival of Sanson Shows Aston Villa Ambitions for the Rest of the Season
The Marseille midfielder is likely to be Villa’s only arrival in this window but its certainly one that signals intent. A cut-price deal for a player who possesses real quality is excellent business from the Villa recruitment team.
Aston Villa are a completely different side to the one which narrowly escaped relegation last season. They have already matched their number of wins for last season in just 17 games. They are excellent defensively, with only Manchester City keeping more clean sheets than Villa’s nine this season.
Villa have improved in all areas and certainly, Sanson joins a team going places. He will relish the challenge ahead and certainly, he could give Villa the edge as they battle for a European place.
He is the complete midfielder and Aston Villa have got themselves a serious player if Dean Smith can unlock him and get the very best out of a player who possesses real quality.