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Florian Thauvin has lost his tux and left Dimitri Payet in the shade at Marseille

Florian Thauvin has swapped his arrogance for maturity and may go on to replace Antoine Griezmann at Atlético Madrid or Franck Ribéry at Bayern Munich

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Marseille’s “Champions Project” has become something of a punchline in Ligue 1 since Frank McCourt’s takeover last year, with Rudi García’s players struggling to find cohesion despite having a squad that looks as if it should be competitive. The team is performing better this season – they were undefeated in 12 games and level on points with Monaco and Lyon before the weekend – but their 2-0 defeat at Lyon on Sunday night showed there is still a long road ahead of them. The game also highlighted the contrasting trajectories of the two men who were ordained to lead them back to the top: Florian Thauvin and Dimitri Payet.

To understand Thauvin’s story we have to go back to 2013, when Lille paid Bastia €3.5m for the teenage winger and immediately loaned him back to the Corsican club. Thauvin was superb that season, scoring 10 goals in 31 league games and winning the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award. Marseille were reportedly interested in signing him but Lille president Michel Seydoux said he was “untransferable”.

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