It’s difficult to judge French imports in England as they can prove very inconsistent. There have been some very good ones like Thierry Henry, David Ginola, Patrice Evra and Yohan Cabaye, but there have been some very frustrating ones like Hatem Ben Arfa, Charles N’Zogbia and Sebastian Squillaci. The English game is more physical and quicker than Ligue 1 and that is evident when players cross the channel as they struggle to assert themselves early on.
Morgan Amalfitano has been hyped for great things since his early days at Sedan and Lorient, but he’s never really fulfilled his potential. He had a good period at Marseille, but was deemed surplus to requirements after the signings of Dimitri Payet and Florian Thauvin. A loan move to West Brom may have appeared as a step down given the history of Marseille, but the Premier League offered the winger to enhance his own reputation. The Baggies have the option to secure the Frenchman on a permanent deal at the end of the season, but that will depend on which division Pepe Mel’s men are playing in next season.
Amalfitano has impressed many people with his explosive yet hard working displays on the West Brom right wing. He was excellent in the Baggies’ 2-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford scoring with a sensational dink over David de Gea. After two goals in his first month in England, he has yet to add to that tally, but his creativity has remained very good. He has created a chance every 42 minutes, which is 33 chances created overall, two of which were assists. The Frenchman has also showed himself to be very dangerous when he is running with the ball, completing 24 of 53 dribbles attempted. In the Premier League, fans love players who can run with the ball. It’s unsurprising that Amalfitano has become an instant hit at the Hawthorns.
While many lack the qualities to become a consistent performer in the English top flight, Amalfitano doesn’t. He could prove to be a very good player for any club below the top seven, but he doesn’t have the quality to play for one of the top clubs in England. If he wishes to play in the Champions League, he’ll have to stay in France or move to another European country. The quality of football and publicity that comes with playing in the Premier League will certainly be attractive to the winger. He has yet to hit top form in England, so if he stays at West Brom or joins another Premier League club, he’ll only get better, while playing in England will enhance his chances of adding to his one French cap.
The winger is approaching the peak years of his career, which is why it’s important he has a strong finish to the season. With only one year left on his contract at Marseille in the summer, he will have a decision to make on his future. He could opt to stay at Marseille and fight for his place or he could join West Brom permanently, but that will only happen if the Baggies avoid relegation. If West Brom don’t make the signing permanent, other Premier League clubs could look to grab Amalfitano as he offers a low risk signing. He has played in England before so he won’t need the settling period and he has already shown he has the quality to do damage in the top flight.