Scouting: Marcus Thuram
Analysing Borussia Monchengladbach's new signing helping them to challenge at the very top.
Borussia Monchengladbach's purchase of forward Marcus Thuram from a relegated Guingamp side for a poultry £8m in the summer of 2019 went completely under the radar. Son of world-famous Lilian Thuram, Marcus is only aged 22 and yet born in Parma, Italy, he represents France, as his father did before him. Let's analyse his numbers and see why he has been so effective for Die Fohlen this season, leaving them 4th before coronavirus put a hold on all things football.
Marcus typically plies his trade as a centre-forward, having scored 6 and assisted a further 8 in 1,800 league minutes this season, giving him a goal contribution every 128 minutes, substanially better than Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Brandt, who currently is contributing to a goal every 300 minutes in the league. It may also be noted that Brandt was purchased for nearly triple Thuram's fee, at £22.5m.
A lot of credit must also be put to Thuram's teammates, with strike partner Alassane Plea having scored 8 and assisting a further 7, but Die Fohlen definitely wouldn't be sitting in 4th place were it not for the former Guingamp man. Marcus is a superb dribbler, often using his pace to escape opposition centre backs. Currently sitting at 2.3 dribbles per league match, whilst being fouled twice per 90, makes Thuram a very frightening prospect indeed.
Grabbing a goal and an assist in a Man of the Match performance against top 4 contenders Eintracht Frankfurt back in October, before subsequently grabbing another goal, assist and a second Man of the Match award 6 days later as Monchengladbach beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1. By December 9th 2019, Borussia were sitting 1st place in the table, having won 10, drawn 1 and lost 3 games, with a goal difference of +14 and 31 points from a possible 42.
A lot of credit also has to go to the manager, Marco Rose, whose attacking style of football has pushed the German side to the next level and has allowed them to challenge for European football. A 70% pass accuracy from an average 21 passes per game is nothing to be sniffed at either, with many centre forwards nowadays typically only producing around 10-15 passes per 90. It just shows how Marcus is ready to adapt how he plays in order to facilitate his teammates into the game. Very unselfish indeed.
With Thuram's introduction into France's U21's, hopefully Didier Deschamps is paying attention and who knows, we could see Marcus given an outside shout for the European Championships come 2021.
Not currently linked with any team, Thuram would definitely be an upgrade that could slot in to a few Premier League sides, and with only a £20.5m market value, per Transfermarkt, he wouldn't cost an arm or a leg.
A side that could benefit from Thuram's introduction would be Leicester. With Vardy now 33, Leicester need to consider replacing the Premier League winner and Thuram wouldn't be the worst shout. Very much in the same mould as Vardy, Thuram posseses pace and strength that could potentially allow him to prosper in a youthful setup under Brendan Rodgers. And let's be honest, Iheanacho definitely isn't Leicester quality.
Alternatively, were Watford looking for a consistent striker to replace Andre Gray or Troy Deeney, Thuram would slot straight into the Hornet's squad. If would be a massive downgrade on challenging for European contention for Thuram, but would give him the platform to show himself on the biggest stage and perhaps get a move to an even bigger European club in the future.
Then there is Arsenal. The Gunner's look increasingly likely to be selling Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Thuram could be the man to fill the Gabonese's shoes. He'd be joining a fairly youthful squad containing the likes of fellow countrymen, Matteo Guendouzi and William Saliba as well as academy graduates Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson, who could be providing for the Frenchman were Arsenal to chase Monchengladbach for his signature in the summer.
Or he could well just stay at Borussia Monchengladbach and develop his game under one of the most exciting coaches in world football.
One thing is certain though, if Thuram continues on this upward trend, you could be seeing him a lot more regularly on your screen's, very soon.