The Montreal Impact are being heavily linked with a move for French forward Jimmy Briand. The move makes sense in almost every way. And here’s why.
The Montreal Impact are in need of hope. The team is in disarray, struggling to create chances and score goals, and are slipping down the standings — they have scored just 18 goals in 15 games and sit in ninth in the Eastern Conference.
Good news, then, that they have an upcoming summer transfer window to help bolster a struggling roster that is poorly managed by Remi Garde.
There are personnel issues at the Impact, but Garde, with what he has, has not put those players in the positions to succeed. That is what a mid-season transfer window is for, and is what the Impact are looking to do in the coming weeks.
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The Impact, who have been linked with a myriad of centre-forwards recently, failing to secure the services of any of them, are now reportedly pursuing another striker in Jimmy Briand, a French journeyman who has allegedly been eyeing up an MLS move to close out his career — he is now 33 is looking for one last transfer to end his career. Yes, this will not help the retirement tag that the league has adopted.
But while Briand may be old, he is an option that makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons.
First and foremost, he is an attacker who will cause problems, create opportunities and score goals. He scored 11 goals last year in Ligue 1, which is an impressive total for a mediocre 12th-placed Guingamp. And he has a goal-scoring pedigree elsewhere: 64 goals since 2009 in domestic league and European competition.
But more than just goals, Briand has prior experience of playing under Garde, who was his manager at Rennes. Garde understands how he works, what system is best to play in, and how he can work the team around the centre-forward, who also has the versatility to play on the wings if necessary.
Moreover, Briand will provide a genuine goal-threat for a team that has almost exclusively relied on Ignacio Piatti for both goals and inspiration. Piatti has scored seven goals and assisted six, a direct involvement in 13 of the 18 goals that the Impact has scored. No other player in the MLS has had a hand in as a high a proportion of their team’s goals as Piatti.
He needs help. And Briand is the man that the Impact have identified as the man to help him. It just makes too much sense.