Le50 2017 – Malcom
It’s been a while since Bordeaux have had much to shout about, but they now boast a highly talented crop of young players, led by Malcom, who has enjoyed a productive season at the Matmut Atlantique. Having joined last winter from Corinthians, the young Brazilian winger has developed into an interesting player with great qualities.
Malcom has developed as a player under the tutelage of Jocelyn Gourvennec, who has challenged his protégé to produce more consistent performances, saying of his young star:
“A boy like Malcom, who has an incredible talent, wastes too much of the ball. Too many ball losses, despite clearly being a good player. You have to be more confident and probably more involved and more precise to ensure the ball in the last 30 metres are not wasted.”
This has at times been a key flaw of the 20-year-old’s game. A speedy winger with great dribbling abilities, sometimes he frustrates as he gives away the ball on the wing, particularly after a decent build-up. And that is one facet that Gourvennec has sought to change.
Has it worked? Yes, overwhelmingly so. The Brazilian has established himself as a core part of the Bordeaux XI, playing on the right of a three-man attack line. He loves to take on an opponent and beat his man using his pace. However, he is also inventive and able to create pockets of space to operate in.
What has Gourvennec made of this young gem?
“When Malcom is good, the team is good too. He is a different player, serious, very comfortable technically and who reads the game very well. He is still young, lacking experience and this explains why he is still irregular. Bordeaux needs him at his best because he has an incredible talent.”
Consistency is the key for the young forward, who notes that he must continue producing at a high level as Bordeaux seek to go from strength to strength after securing a return to European football next season.
For the player who signed to Bordeaux on the recommendation of Ze Roberto (a former teammate of ex-coach Willy Sagnol at Bayern), there remains significant interest, particularly from the Premier League. A return of nine goals and seven assists has been noted around the Europe, particularly after his strong end to the season.
Bordeaux have recognised that they have a talent on their hands. Malcom’s first full season in France has been a success, largely down to his willingness to learn from Gourvennec’s constructive criticism and desire to add some strength to his game. He is one whom many in French football believe he will go far. Let’s see in 12 months if that prediction holds true.