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Benjamin Stambouli (Paris 2015–2016)

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Senior Career
Montpellier HSC 2010–2014
Spurs 2014–2015
Paris 2015–2016
 
BENJAMIN STAMBOULI SIGNS UNTIL 2020
French midfielder Benjamin Stambouli completed his transfer from Tottenham on Monday evening, signing a five-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain through to 2020.
 
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Aged 24, the former France U21 international was a key element of Montpellier's Ligue 1 title triumph in the 2011-12 season (26 appearances) after graduating from the club's academy. After a season in England, Benjamin Stambouli, who has already made 112 Ligue 1 appearances since turning professional, has decided to return to France to contribute to both Paris Saint-Germain's national and European ambitions.
 
“I am delighted and very proud to become a member of the Paris Saint-Germain family. I wasn’t necessarily planning to leave the Premier League after one year but when a club with the stature of Paris Saint-Germain calls you, it makes your choice a lot easier! That’s the moment when you really experience the power of this club. I will now focus on my preseason. It will be important to take advantage of the friendly games that we still have to play in the US to find my marks on the pitch.” 
 
“It is with a great pleasure that I welcome Benjamin Stambouli to our club," reacted Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, the president of Paris Saint-Germain. "He is a French player who has already proved the impact that he can make in midfield both athletically and technically. France is going to rediscover a player that was full of promises when he was playing in Ligue 1. During our summer tour in North America, Benjamin will have the opportunity to integrate the squad and learn to work with our coaching staff.”

 

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STAMBOULI: 'VERY PROUD'
Just a few minutes after meeting up with his new teammates, Benjamin Stambouli revealed his joy at signing for Paris Saint-Germain.
 
Benjamin, how do you feel now that you're a Paris Saint-Germain player?
"I feel very proud, I have travelled a long road to get here today. It's the start of a new adventure and I hope to experience some great moments in this shirt and win a lot of titles."
 
Speaking of titles, what are your personal and collective objectives?
"I know that winning is what drives this club and I'm here to win as much as possible. In our line of work, that's fundamental."
 
In Paris, you will playing alongside world class players. Was that a factor in your decision to join the club? 
"Of course. I'm still young and I need to keep working, so working alongside the players here on a daily basis will help me take the next step up in class. I will try and learn as much as possible from them. I think they will give me lots of advice, so, yes, it was a big factor in my choice. Playing with players with such individual talent will definitely help me improve. I received a great welcome from the squad, they know how to make you feel welcome and our initial exchanges were excellent."

 

Returning to the Champions League must also have played a role... 
"Yes, of course. I got a taste for the competition with Montpellier. You dream about this competition when you're a kid, so to be able to play in the Champions League again also influenced my decision. It's fantastic what Paris Saint-Germain have achieved in this competition in recent years. We will try and go as far as possible and we hope to win it soon... that's the aim. To be able to defend the colours of the French capital is a magnificent opportunity and I'm very lucky to get this chance. I will do everything I can to progress, and give my maximum to repay the confidence the club has shown in me."
 
A word on the Parc des Princes, your new home?
"It's a great stadium, magnificent. My most recent memories obviously go back to my time with Montpellier, and now I will be there with a Paris shirt on my back and I know that home games are very important. I hope that team's will be worried when they visit the Parc, as was the case when I used to play there with Montpellier."
 
What do you think of the club's ambitious sporting project?
"Paris has always been a big club, but it has taken on a new dimension in recent years. Today the main objective is to win the Champions League, to win everything, it's what drives the club forward. I am very proud to be a part of this project today."

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WHAT STAMBOULI CAN BRING TO PSG

Paris close to a deal to bring the former Montpellier player back to Ligue 1

 

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With the departure of Yohan Cabaye to Crystal Palace and Thiago Motta admitting he would like a new challenge, Paris Saint-Germain find themselves in need of midfield players heading into the new season. Now that the Financial Fair Play restrictions have been lifted, many supporters would like to see a big name come into the club but Paris have their eyes set on the 24-year old Frenchman who last played for Tottenham Hotspur.

 

Benjamin Stambouli is a versatile player who can play defensive midfield or centre back. He showed a lot of promise at Montpellier, leading the club to their first Ligue 1 title in 2012, but after his transfer to Tottenham in 2014, the Frenchman struggled to replicate this form. He made 25 total appearances for Spurs last season and only managed to score once in a Europa League match. A change of scenery, especially back to the league where he played his best soccer, could be just what Stambouli needs.

 

The Frenchman will likely be seen as Cabaye’s replacement in the substitute role, whether or not Motta stays. He’s a homegrown player who also brings with him some Champions League experience. His addition will be vital for Paris as he’s a proper defensive midfielder with the ability to read the game and make interceptions. Due to his versatility, he can also serve as cover for Marquinhos who also has commitments at right back. Assuming Stambouli lives up to the promise he showed during his time at Montpellier, he could become more than just another player to make up the numbers.

 

Stambouli will give manager Laurent Blanc a lot more freedom when making tactical changes. He is a different kind of holding midfielder to Motta. His presence reduces the defensive responsibilities on the other midfielders in the team, much like David Luiz did when he played in the midfield against Chelsea in the Champions League. The assured defensive presence will give players like Javier Pastore and Adrien Rabiot the freedom to create in the midfield or allow Blanc to switch to a more attacking 4-4-2 formation.

 

With all that being said, Stambouli is no Motta, especially when it comes to passing and controlling a game. Stambouli is a young player and clearly still has a lot of room for improvement. If he hits the ground running immediately and works on the less refined aspects of his game, he could turn out to be one of the most useful signings of the transfer window.

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