Pape Gueye has offered an indication as to why he snubbed Liverpool and Arsenal for a move to Marseille, telling FootMercato that the chance to work with Andre Villas-Boas was at the centre of his decision.
One of the oddest and more contentious transfer sagas of the summer has come to an end – much to the chagrin of everyone at Vicarage Road.
Watford thought they had a deal for one of French football’s hottest young midfielders wrapped up, with the Premier League’s official website seemingly confirming that Gueye had sealed a move to Hertfordshire.
But in a remarkable turn of events, Gueye backed out of an agreement before sealing a switch to Marseille instead; although Watford are not the only English outfit who have been left disappointed by the 21-year-old’s decision.
Liverpool were linked with another highly-rated youngster via the Express, while Jeunes Footeaux reported in March that Arsenal were close to agreeing a £5 million deal that would never come to fruition.
The chance to join a revitalised ‘AVB’ at one of France’s biggest clubs was simply too good to turn down.
“With a coach like André Villas-Boas, I can progress a lot in certain areas. I don’t have too many fears. I know that I have to progress a lot,” Gueye explains after signing a contract until 2024 at the Ligue 1 runners-up.
“I chose OM because, quite simply, it’s already a big club. Everyone knows OM around the world. Any player dreams of playing OM one day.”
Finishing second in Ligue 1 under former Tottenham and Chelsea boss Villas-Boas, Marseille will be playing Champions League football for the first time since 2013/14 next season.
That is more than can be said for an Arsenal side who, once again, will miss out on a seat at Europe’s top table.