To get back to the top Marseille needs an effective central Forward and defensive midfielder.
Olympic of Marseille’s midfield is unbalanced and too offensive. A few weeks, in the Classico they lost 2-0 against a very balanced Paris Saint-Germain. In that game Marseille aligned Dimitri Payet Andre Ayew Mathieu Valbuena Florian Thauvin in front of Romao the only defensive midfielder. Payet, Ayew, Valbuena and Thauvin are all offensive players at heart, so their application to their defensive assignment is not as discipline as it should be. This creates a dangerous unbalance on the pitch.
Last summer OM recruited young and talented Giannelli Imbula. However, the youth and inexperience of the top level do not make him an automatic starter. At least not yet. Playing time and trust should allow Marseille to see if he is the dominating defensive midfielder that Marseille needs.
In the absence of such a player and with an aging central midfielder Benoit Cheyrou, Marseille needs to target an elite defensive Midfielder. Depending on their budget and the market, acquiring another solid defensive and a central midfielder would be necessary unless they plan to pair Imbula with their elite defensive midfielder.
Aligning two defensive midfielders or one defensive midfielder with a central midfielder would give Marseille more balance defensively and get them better results. Because Marseille front office has made questionable transfers in the recent when comes to the midfielders in particular, I would like to clarify that by elite defensive midfielder I do not mean Joey Barton. I mean a player that is playing outstanding soccer and that is an international.
Further, Marseille needs a great central forward. They need to find another Didier Drogba, and this time they must not let him go despite lucrative financial offers. Andre-Pierre Gignac is indecisive and far from great. He can score 10-14 scores per seasons, but that is not enough for Marseille to win a title or even qualify for the Champions League. Marseille has a great offensive midfielder in Mathieu Valbuena that is an excellent passer, yet he is not a finisher and scores very few goals per seasons. Dimitri Payet, Florian Thauvin and Jordan Ayew are all good wingers, but they have been misused and badly coached which results in their inconsistent performances. There is not enough realism in those four players to compensate for the lack of production of Gignac.
Consequently, Marseille needs to go all in on a great central forward after transferring out Gignac. The targeted names could depend of the extent of Marseille’s off season purse. Furthermore, the targeted list could be extended if good players become great in this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
If Marseille does not make those needed acquisitions by the end of the Mercato next summer, they will not be the race to win a Champions League spot let alone winning the Ligue 1.