Vietnamese midfielder to face challenges in French club: pundit

By Xuan Binh   June 29, 2022 | 01:45 am PT
Vietnamese midfielder to face challenges in French club: pundit
Nguyen Quang Hai is set to join French club Pau FC by the end of June 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
Alexandre Castets, founder and moderator of Pau FC’s official fansite, said Vietnam’s top midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai will face great difficulties at his new club but could overcome them.

"European clubs rarely notice Asian players. I have watched videos of Quang Hai and he seemed really talented. The main concern is how he will adapt to a new country, language and football environment. Physique and stamina are also disadvantages for him," Castets said.

Castets created a website called 1959 (the establishing year of Pau FC) for the club and its supporters in 2008. He only learned about Hai through online videos but was impressed by his talent. Castets thinks Hai has what it takes to be a regular at Pau, and could be a replacement for Victor Lobry, the attacking midfielder that left the club this summer.

"Lobry's level is too good for Pau and many bigger clubs want him, so we cannot keep him at the club anymore. Lobry played as an attacking midfielder and it seems like Quang Hai will fill in his place," Castets added.

However, Quang Hai will have to face stiff competition in this position from other players at the club. Castets said Steeve Beusnard and Eddy Silvestre can play as attacking midfielders, despite being central midfielders. The rookie Henri Saivet can also play in that position.

"Last season we also recruited a non-French player, midfielder Jovan Nisic from Serbia. He adapted really quickly so Pau can do the same for Quang Hai," he said.

Castets also addressed the rumors about Hai's salary at Pau, as there were some sources who said he will receive an annual salary of around €200,000 to 300,000 ($210,000 to 315,000).

"That number is not realistic. It's four to five times higher than the average salary in the club. The annual budget of the club is only around €6.5 million. The number in the rumor will make Hai the highest-paid player on the team. But in this season, we have extra money from selling forward Samuel Essende so there is also a chance that Hai might get that number," he said.

Hai is learning French, but he still needs a translator during the first few months at Pau. He is expected to undergo a medical Wednesday and after that, the contract will be activated.

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