A few days ago, the news broke that Welsh outfit Cardiff had signed former Rennes player Kevin Theophile Catherine for a fee believed to be €3.5 million plus €0.5 million in bonuses. Today we take a look at what kind of player the Premier League side have signed, and how much he will help them to stay in the top flight of English football.
Théophile-Catherine, like Liverpool target Sakho, is 23 years old and, so far, has been a one-club man in his footballing career. He was part of the Rennes youth outfit from as early as 2004, when he was only 14 years of age, and went on to make almost 100 appearances for the Ligue 1 side, scoring 3 goals along the way. The fact that he has only been in one club throughout his career raises some questions. He has never changed club, so will he be able to cope with his change in surroundings? I believe that a closer look at the player will provide us with a few answers.
Although he is rather small, standing at 5 foot 9 inches, he has a muscular build, which should prepare him for the intensity and physicality of the Premier League. Also, in his time at Rennes, he has been deployed not only at left-back, which is his favoured position, but he has had success at centre-back as well. This suggest that Théopile-Catherine is a very versatile player, and can adapt to different situations. His physical build and good adaptability should definitely prepare him well for the challenge ahead in the Premier League, and will perhaps make his first club transfer a little easier to handle.
With Cardiff, Théophile-Catherine has also found the ideal club. It is likely that he will get a permanent starting place in the defence, and this is one of the most important things when a player is trying to adapt to a new club and league. He needs games under his belt to adjust to the English (or if you prefer Welsh) style of play, and I truly believe that Malky Mackay and Cardiff will give him this chance. At 23 years of age, Théopile Catherine is still a young player with potential to improve even further, and it is up to the management staff at the Welsh side to bring the best out the Frenchman.
To me, it is clear that Cardiff City have made a very good signing. They have conceded 5 goals in their opening 3 League games, and their defence needed a bit of reinforcement. The reason Théophile-Catherine is the perfect signing is that not only will he play left-back but, if Cardiff are hit with injuries in the centre-back position, he can cover there as well, and is therefore an extremely useful player to have at the club. Under the correct guidance, I’m sure that the young Frenchman will go from strength to strength in the coming seasons.