Olympique de Marseille midfielder Giannelli Imbula demonstrated the best and the worst of his game against AS Monaco on Sunday evening ahead of a potential summer move.
The dynamic star is set to be one of Ligue 1’s most sought-after talents of the upcoming transfer window and a move to the Premier League could be on the cards.
Chelsea have been linked to his signature, while Arsenal recently added their name to his growing list of admirers.
As a younger player, Imbula was nicknamed ‘the new Makelele’, whereas latterly he has worn a moniker likening him to another Arsenal and France midfielder Abou Diaby.
Against Monaco on Sunday evening, as Marseille won 2-1 to close the gap between themselves and their Champions League rivals, Imbula demonstrated how the comparisons between himself and Chelsea legend Makelele are tenuous at best.
The France U21 star was an energetic presence in the middle of the park, and while he can put in a tackle and win a header, it was his dribbling that truly stole the show.
Take, for example, this slaloming run on 38 minutes, where Imbula shrugged off one opponent inside his own half, tore through the Monaco midfield, before laying the ball off to a teammate just outside the box.
However, the player also demonstrated the darker side of his talent in the second period.
While Imbula is a much matured figure under Marcelo Bielsa this term, he still has his lapses. Take, for example, one recent episode when he was forced to exit a flight on the runway of an airport after ignoring the air hostess’s instructions to turn off his mobile phone.
When the player was replaced on 64 minutes, he reacted badly, stomping to his seat, muttering under his breath and kicking his boots away in a rage.
Bielsa—with a lot on his plate—may tolerate it, but it’s hard to imagine Mourinho adopting such a laissez-faire attitude.