With Spanish midfielders not particularly known for their stature, there is always a certain Gulliver against the Lilliputians element to some battles in international clashes. One of those eye-pleasing skirmishes arrived during Spain’s match with France on Thursday in the U-20 World Cup, when a cluster of diminutive footballers tried and failed to contain the rampaging, powerful figure of Geoffrey Kondogbia.
Unfortunately, in this particular encounter which saw a defeat for the 20-year-old and his French teammates, it was one of the few moments the Sevilla player got to strut his stuff. The rest of the match saw him as a peripheral figure stuck out on the left, when Kondogbia really should have been at the heart of the action.
This is where the talented youngster has been all season for his Spanish club, in what has been a rare success signing for Sevilla, a team that has lost its way in recent years in terms of transfers. Kondogbia joined the Andalusians from Lens in the summer of 2012. He had already built up a reputation as a footballer of some promise, having featured for his country at all youth levels.
The problem for Sevilla now is that despite the Frenchman being at the Sanchez Pizjuan for just a year, some of the biggest clubs in the world have been linked with him, including Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea according to Metro, which also mentions that Spanish newspaper Diario de Sevilla is reporting that United have already begun negotiations with Sevilla.
A report from The Independent suggests that Real Madrid are looking at the Sevilla player as a long term replacement for the creative Xabi Alonso, but such notions are grasping on the wrong end of the stick in what the footballer can offer.
Lazier comparisons suggest the footballer is the new Patrick Viera. While the Frenchman is known as a left-sided defensive midfielder and occasional full-back, Kondogbia is too versatile to be pigeon-holed in such a manner.
The former Lens player is a mixture of a number of players—a touch of Javi Martínez in his strength, physique and adaptability with more than a little go-getting Yaya Toure thrown in for good measure. It is no wonder that scouts will be continuing to watch the U-20 World Cup while France’s participation lasts, although performances by the midfielder for Sevilla last season see the secret over the promise of Kondogbia well and truly out.