Marseille manager Elie Baup is confident that new signing Gianelli Imbula will be able to cope with life in Ligue 1.
The 20-year-old midfielder agreed a deal to move to the Stade Velodrome last Thursday, joining from newly promoted club Guingamp on a five-year deal, and was officially unveiled at a press conference on Tuesday.
The former Paris Saint-Germain academy player had reportedly attracted the attention of Premier League side Newcastle United.
However, Imbula has opted to remain in France and Baup has no reservations about his ability to compete in the top flight.
“He has the technical potential and I was able to judge his character during our discussions,” Baup said
“I have no doubts over him.
“He plays an important part in the game, with his ease on the ball and ability to get forward and support the front line.
“He certainly has room to progress but he is already part of our plans.”
Imbula had allegedly been tracked by PSG, but he chose to switch to Provence, citing Marseille’s stability and passionate fans as the primary reasons behind his decision.
“I like this club,” he said. ”
Marseille are a club with fervour, with supporters who love the club.
“At Paris there are signings all the time, every week, every month. That does not interest me, I prefer a stable club with values.”
Club president Vincent Labrune stressed that they are still looking to recruit players, but was coy on talk of a return for QPR midfielder Joey Barton, who spent last season on loan at the Velodrome.
“It is likely that we will have a new arrival here between now and the end of the window,” Labrune explained.
“We made an offer in May which has not had a response. The player belongs to QPR, they will decide.”