Montreal Impact recently announced the signing of former French international defender Rod Fanni. The 36-year-old has signed until June, with the option of a further year.
Fanni will be a starter based off the fact that the Montreal Impact only have one other healthy centre back in Victor Cabrera. While Manager Remi Garde would be happy to have a new signing, the fans are not and rightfully so.
At 36-years-old, Fanni isn’t very quick and many strikers will be able to outpace him. Players such as Sebastian Giovinco, Josef Martinez and Giovanni Dos Santos would cause a lot of trouble.
Although, there have been slow centre-backs in the past that were successful, they’ve had better cover than Victor Cabrera. Cabrera is not entirely quick himself. Some teams have fullbacks that come back and defend more than required, the Impact’s fullbacks Daniel Lovitz and Michael Petrasso are naturally wingers and having them come back to cover would not get the best out of them.
One of L’Impact’s biggest problems is that their team is very short. Rod Fanni is now the tallest player on the team at 6 foot 1 inches, and that definitely won’t be tall enough to deal with many key MLS strikers. Most strikers that aren’t causing trouble with pace are relatively good in the air and will cause the Impact’s defence a lot of trouble from crosses.
We have already seen this on Matchday 1, when Kei Kamara came up against Montreal. He scored a goal and created other chances thanks to his ability in the air. Strikers like Jozy Altidore and CJ Sapong will likely enjoy similar experiences against Montreal, due to the team’s height. This would also create a big problem on set pieces. To help negate this the Montreal Impact could’ve signed a player that is at least 6 foot 3 inches or more.
Another reason Rod Fanni was such a underwhelming signing was because of how many better alternatives there are. With the NASL’s season being cancelled, many great players would be available.
Mason Trafford was a key defensive piece for Miami FC when they won both spring and and fall season titles. Trafford had ball playing abilities to fit Garde’s system and is half a decade younger then Fanni. Another option would be Drew Beckie. Similar to Fanni, Beckie is a right back that can also play well in the centre of defence.
Beckie is currently injured after a trial with an unnamed side in the top division of Finland. Over the winter, the Impact were also linked to Canadian international Manjrekar James who would’ve been perfect for Garde’s system, he’s young, strong, quick and has good ball playing skills. Due to a disagreement with his club he would’ve been very cheap as well.
Possibly the worst thing about this signing is that Fanni will be rusty. The last game he played in Ligue 1 was in March 2017 against Bastia. When a club signs an emergency player due to a injury crisis, they are expected to start performing instantly. In Fanni’s case, that’ll be hard to do because he has not played for almost a year and at a extremely different level meaning a change in the quality of teammates.
We as fans, have yet to see how Rod Fanni will do in a blue jersey but the veteran defender has a lot going against him and has to impress in order to not be a poor panic buy.
Written by Haroon Din (@not_a_bot12)