The first in my mini series on players being followed by Newcastle United’s chief scout Graham Carr is the much fancied 20 year old, Gilbert Imbula from French Ligue 2 side, Guingamp.
Though Imbula is yet another central midfielder, and yet another player from France, he does look like a very talented central midfielder who could well be a top player in the fullness of time, the downside being that Carr isn’t the only scout to realise this, as he has also being watched by Carr’s collegues from the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and probably several others too.
Before I proceed further, I must issue a warning that I usually like to watch players in several full matches before I write about them. However, when it comes to the lower leagues overseas, obviously this is much more difficult. Hence, I must admit that I have not seen much more of this player than the videos you can see below, so please bear this in mind!
Imbula is a fairly big unit at around 6’1″, and seems to be primarily a very strong and powerful defensive midfielder. However, he also has very good pace, is comfortable on the ball with excellent technique and the abilty to go forward. From what I have seen, his passing is ok and his finishing could perhaps do with a little work. All combined, I think he could develop as an excellent box to box player who could really dominate the midfield. I wrote “could develop” as his goalscoring record would be rather poor so far for someone who might be considered a box to box player, though as I wrote, whilst his finishing is ok, it could perhaps do with a little more work. In his 91 appearences for Guingamp he has only scored 4 goals so far, one of which you can see below. You can also see with another rather scrappy one scored for the France U20s, for whom he has made 4 appearences.
From the (very) little I’ve watched so far, I can at least see a bit of what all the fuss is about regarding this player due to his all round ability. Although he’s estimated as only being worth around £2.6 million on transfermarkt, this sounds very low to me on this occaision. Even as a relitive youngster from Ligue 2, I could see him going for more than three times that amount and still be a very good buy if he fulfills his undoubted potential.
But what do you think?
Gilbert Imbula for France U20 v USA U20 – Toulon Tournament, 28th May, 2013.
Gilbert Imbula for France U20 vs Colombia U20 – Toulon Tournament, 3rd June, 2013.
Gilbert Imbula for Guingcamp vs Marseilles. Can you spot Joey Barton?
Gilbert Imbula scoring against Le Havre, 11th January, 2013.