The small but creative Mathieu Valbuena has been linked with a move to East London, but if he's smart he should stay away from Sam Allardyce.
When Marseille finished second during the 2012/13 season in Ligue 1, Mathieu Valbuena decided to activate a clause in his contract guaranteeing the player another 12 months at the club.
Now the player is set to leave France for pastures new, and the newest club linked with the 29-year-old playmaker is West Ham United. However, by meaning no disrespect, he deserves a much better club than the Hammers.
Valbuena has already shown in four games at this World Cup, that he is easily one of the best players in this France team. He is the cog that makes the free-flowing attacking style work, and he is easily one of the first players on Coach Didier Deschamps team sheet.
It would be a travesty for the playmaker if he were to end up playing under the style of Sam Allardyce next season. It’s nothing against West Ham as a club, look at how well Carlos Tevez and Paolo Di Canio flourished at Upton Park, but under Allardyce, the style couldn’t be further from what suits Valbuena.
To get the best out of the diminutive midfielder, you have to let him roam free and create space, he will use it better than most, and he could be an absolute steal at £8 million for any team in England.
If asked to link up with Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan, or asked to work like Matt Jarvis or Stewart Downing on the wings, you are going to waste one of the best mobile playmakers in Europe.
Valbuena is easily good enough for the Premier League, for that, there is little doubt, but he needs to be playing for a team that can nurture the talent that he has, rather than waste it.
Teams like Swansea City, Southampton, and Everton would all suit that type of player more than Allardyce’s anti-football that you can often see being played at the Boleyn Ground.
Perhaps, if the former Bolton manager was to change his ways and play a more expansive style of football, then maybe Valbuena would be perfect. Right now, that’s not looking likely, and the French midfielder should stay well away from that particular part of East London.