Position: Defender – Right-Back
From: Montpellier, France (international spot)
Former team: ES Troyes AC, Ligue 2 France
Market Value: $1.4M
Deal: International transfer – terms not disclosed
Mathieu Deplagne joins FC Cincinnati as a veteran right-back who hit his prime during a long stint in the French first division with Montpellier HSC. He made 100 Ligue 1 appearances for his hometown club between 2012 and 2017. Interestingly, the Montpellier native was playing with MHSC when they
Similar to Przemysłav Tytoń’s situation in La Coruña, Deplagne joined Troyes as a Ligue 1 side, but they were relegated to Ligue 2 after the ’17/’18 season. This season, the fullback only logged 180 minutes with Troyes in the second division before joining FC Cincinnati.
We touched base with Hady Raphaël, proprietor of MLS en Folie, a French-language website dedicated to coverage of America’s first division. Hady is also a dedicated follower of Ligue 1 and a podcaster covering Olympique de Marseille. Raphaël had the following to say about Deplagne.
“In 2013-2014, Deplagne established himself as a first team regular in Montpellier before joining Troyes in 2017. His experience in Ligue 1 will be an asset for Cincinnati since he played over 100 games there. He’s more of a defensive right-back but does go forward from time to time, so you will see him on the bylines but not much in the box. Fanendo Adi should be happy to have him there since Deplagne has good crossing abilities.”
When asked why Troyes was willing to part with Deplagne, Hady stated that it was clear that Deplagne was not in the manager’s plans, perhaps because of a “minor problem” with “loss of concentration” in defense (Raphaël’s opinion). It also stands to reason that Deplagne wants to play first-division football and was originally on a first-division contract at Troyes, so the player’s ambitions and finances may be part of the equation.
Alan Koch had the following to say about Deplagne’s arrival in the Queen City.
“We look forward to adding a player of Mathieu’s caliber to our organization. He has played in matches against some of the best clubs in the world and has a history of success on the pitch. We are excited to see him embrace a new challenge here in Cincinnati.”
FC Cincinnati has also been heavily linked with Portland Timbers right back, Alvas Powell. Between Deplagne and Hoyte, the right side of the Orange & Blue’s defense seems to be buttoned-up heading into the 2019 season. It will be interesting to see if Deplagne’s arrival means that the pursuit of Powell is over, or whether the Jamaican may still be in Alan Koch’s plans.
Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for continued coverage of FC Cincinnati’s MLS roster build.