It goes without saying that he is one of the best players in the team, and therefore deemed very important automatically.
However, without trying to judge the latest situation about a possible confrontation with Berizzo in the first half of the match vs. Liverpool (after being 0-3 down), I think we can all agree that this season’s N’Zonzi is simply not the N’Zonzi we have known since 2016 after his consolidation within the team.
When he plays at his best, he’s a beast hands down, but this season it’s more like he is playing whenever he’s in the mood, rather whenever it is required. Moreover, he has made some fatal mistakes in the beginning of the season, giving away two stupid goals when the team was very compact in defense, or at least the common belief was such.
In the first 6 La Liga matches, we faced: Espanyol, Getafe, Eibar, Girona, Las Palmas and Atletico. In all of these matches, we have only conceded three times, and two out of the three conceded goals were stupid mistakes from N’Zonzi, that could’ve been easily avoided if it wasn’t for the negligence (specifically vs. Espanyol and vs. Atletico).
Then again, he was not in the pitch (injury) when we collapsed and had a catastrophic week, losing 5-1 to Spartak and 4-0 to Valencia, but even when he came back, it wasn’t that the defense got much more help, or it wasn’t that teams that can score couldn’t score against us. The best example, Liverpool. They put 3 past us, with N’Zonzi on the pitch, also, not forgetting the first match vs. Liverpool, where they scored 2, and one of the goals was N’Zonzi’s mistake for not being aware that Salah was going to take the ball out of him. Technically that could’ve been a foul, but still, N’Zonzi’s mistake.
Not going into speculations about the situation with Berizzo, which I still consider as unprofessional from N’Zonzi with whatever the case was. It’s too easy to be angry when 0-3 down, but it takes a lot of fight and courage to get into the pitch in the second half and try to have a remuntada, let alone actually have a remuntada.
Additionally, it is not that he helped us beat the strong teams, as we have lost every match vs. strong sides where he was in, and not that he immensely helped winning against weaker sides, after all, beside Maribor (too weak of a team) and Eibar, we have only narrowly won the other matches and drawn vs. Espanyol.
I was very happy for him that he received the call up from France NT anyway.
To sum up, he has cost us points with stupid mistakes, not contributed much to doing anything vs. strong teams, has had a bad attitude with the coach (as reported at least) and has been very negligent all season long so far in his play, and has continuously requested to leave in many occasions in the summer window, and now very likely to leave in January.
The question is, do we really need N’Zonzi, or better put, do we really need this season’s unmotivated N’Zonzi? My answer is no! Let’s take the 40 million in January (even 35 would do) and get 3 good players to boost up the team before it’s too late.
What do you folks think?