Position: Central Midfield
Date of Birth: February 21st 1992
Place of Birth: ?, France
Previous Club(s): Le Havre
Le Havre’s recent academy products include Florent Sinama-Pongolle, Didier Digard, Lassana Diarra and Guillaume Hoarau. An academy capable of producing top end talent will naturally attract visitors from far and wide, and in 2008 that included Portsmouth, who beat off considerable interest to sign Gauthier Mahoto.
They’re already struggling to keep hold of the player, supposedly subject to a ‘blank cheque’ offer from Aston Villa, as well as sniffing around from Chelsea. In the summer of 08 Portsmouth offered Mahoto a deal which guaranteed a professional contract when he turned 17, something his former employers hadn’t put on the table. They didn’t, and after a protracted period of time, he eventually came to England. Much like the aforementioned Diarra, he’s short but strong and powerful, able to control the game from the middle of the park. He has fine passing and tackling and is something of a set-piece specialist, most markedly free-kicks.
It didn’t take the Frenchman long to push into the Reserves at Fratton Park, and there were even whispers he was intended as the replacement for Diarra, perhaps even by the start of 09/10. His late arrival into England meant this season was always going to be one of adaptation, but he’s doing just fine so far.