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OM: Amine Harit, Gennaro Gattuso’s new strong man

In barely a year, Amine Harit has gone through all the emotions.

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OM: Amine Harit, Gennaro Gattuso’s new strong man

In barely a year, Amine Harit has gone through all the emotions. Victim of a cruciate ligament rupture on November 14, 2022, on the Monaco lawn, the 26-year-old attacking midfielder wasted no time in playing the leading roles again at Olympique de Marseille. After the heartbreak represented by a withdrawal from the World Cup in Qatar, marked by the historic journey of his Moroccan selection until the semi-final, and long months without setting foot on the Ligue 1 pitches, the former Nantes player finds all his feelings for several weeks. His new coach, Gennaro Gattuso, gives him his complete confidence and seems to give him the keys to the Marseille game. The Marseille collective relies on the atypical qualities of the Moroccan, who should once again start at the Vélodrome stadium, this Sunday (8:45 p.m.) against OL, during a crucial “Olympico”.

Arriving at the end of September on the shores of the Mediterranean, Gattuso put the Marseille house in order, despite still mixed results (two victories, two defeats and a draw in five matches). In a tactical break with his predecessor Marcelino, the Italian coach opted for a 4-2-3-1, adjustable to 4-3-3, which gives pride of place to Amine Harit, who has started every match since he came into play. from the start of the second period in Monaco (2-3). Everything but a coincidence for the one who has already won over his coach. “He is a player who must play in the center and in the middle of the field to return to the inside of the game. He has the ability to control to be in numerical superiority against the opponent,” analyzed Gattuso, under the charm, before challenging Nice (0-1) last Saturday. He has the game vision of the greatest players. He has an innate ability given to him by the good Lord. He always finds a solution when he is in a hurry.

Also read “If we think it will be a walk in the park, we will lose”: Gattuso wary of OL before the Olympico

Already the author of three assists in the Europa League, the Atlas Lion confirmed his current great form by scoring a decisive penalty against AEK Athens (3-1) on Thursday, just a few days after unlocking his counter in selection against Liberia (2-0). Having quickly returned to a high physical level, despite his serious injury which condemned certain professional careers, the Marseille number 11 took advantage of his unique profile within the squad. “He’s a different player. He might remind me of Kaka, but Kaka had a stride that was different and didn't dribble as much, dared his coach "Ringhio", who saw some exceptional playmakers in the great era of AC Milan. “Rui Costa was perhaps dribbling more. What defines it, what makes it unique, is really its first touch.” This first touch, very often forward, notably allowed him to offer a caviar to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against Le Havre (3-0) after a 30-meter race. On the right track, the former Schalke 04 dribbler still has room for improvement, like OM as a whole.

His technician said it, Harit must “play in the middle”. Against Athens, three days ago, the player trained at FC Nantes was however off-centered on the left, the fault of the return of Geoffrey Kondogbia alongside the Jordan Veretout-Valentin Rongier tandem in the midfield. Always attracted by the ball, he was not content to play on his wing, leaving space for his side Renan Lodi. It remains to be seen whether the Olympian staff will follow through on their intentions, ensuring a central position for the Moroccan, as a relay or number 10. This will perhaps come with time. “He still needs to improve defensively and physically,” Gattuso promised. “He has a lot of room for improvement. If he improves his acceleration and power, he will truly become an incredible player.

Before participating, barring any surprises or last minute glitches, in the African Cup of Nations with his country next January, Harit seems to be flourishing again in OM's offensive game, which only needs to improve. throughout the meetings. This Sunday, during the clash of the Olympics, a new opportunity to shine presents itself to him, in a big meeting despite the crisis of results of the two clubs in Ligue 1. Favorite of his coach and the supporters of the Vélodrome, the best passer Olympian regains the explosiveness necessary to unbalance defenses. “A Lion never dies” headlined OM, broadcasting a documentary in three episodes on the rehabilitation of its player in recent months at the Commanderie. No doubt, Harit football is alive and well. And all of Marseille benefits from it.

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